Wärtsilä and Silverstream partner on fuel-saving air lubrication technology

Wärtsilä and Silverstream partner on fuel-saving air lubrication technology
Air released under the hull. Image courtesy of Silverstream Technologies

Wärtsilä and Silverstream Technologies have signed a Licence and Co-operation Agreement, permitting Wärtsilä as sales and service partner to fully integrate Silverstream’s air lubrication system within its propulsion solutions.

Silverstream’s air lubrication technology helps vessels to improve their Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) by creating a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by 5 to ten per cent.

The technology works in all maritime conditions, is not weather dependent, and does not constrain or negatively impact the normal operational profile of the vessel.

Under the agreement, the Silverstream System will be offered as an integral part of Wärtsilä’s propulsion solution for newbuild vessels. It will also be available through Wärtsilä’s sales channels for retrofit installations on existing vessels where Wärtsilä is a primary solution provider.

This new collaborative partnership is expected to accelerate the deployment of air lubrication systems across all vessel classes, from small bulk vessels to the largest container ships.

Going forward, the collaboration agreement will enable current and future Silverstream customers to access Wärtsilä’s global service network for the maintenance of their Silverstream System installations. The agreement means that more shipowners will have easy access to Silverstream’s proven air lubrication technology.

“At Wärtsilä we are committed to fully supporting our customers as they strive to reduce operating costs and improve the environmental sustainability impact of their operations. Today’s agreement enables us to facilitate the building of better vessels that meet tomorrow’s challenges today, and Silverstream are the ideal partners to help us realise this goal,” said Lars Anderson, director, propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine.

Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, added: “Today’s agreement with Wärtsilä reinforces our position as the shipping industry’s leading clean technology manufacturer. In Wärtsilä we find a partner as committed as we are to achieving a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable maritime industry.

“With the global sulphur cap almost upon us and decarbonisation targets on the horizon, the commercial case for proven clean technology has never been stronger. Now is the time for ship owners to take action to reduce their operational costs and their impact on the environment, and today’s agreement will help unlock the power of air lubrication technology for more vessels across our sector.”