First Commercial Silverstream Air Lubrication System Installed on Norwegian Cruise Ship

Tuesday March 10, 2015

Silverstream Technologies has installed its first commercial air lubrication system for greater operational efficiency aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss, the company announced in an emailed statement. 

The ship is slated for a spring 2017 delivery, with the project also including options for two additional Norwegian Cruise Line vessels to be outfitted with Silverstream's system. 

"Not only does this highlight the Silverstream System and air lubrication as an applied and sustainable clean technology, it also demonstrates the industry’s culture and desire to improve their operational and environmental efficiencies as a means of reducing emissions, fuel costs, and improving the sustainability of their operations," said Silverstream CEO Noah Silberschmidt.

The company says its technology produces a thin layer of micro bubbles that creates a single "air carpet" along the hull of the vessel, which reduces friction against the water and in turn improves energy efficiency. 

In addition to newbuilds, the system can also be installed on an existing ship within two weeks. 

“Despite the recent decline in fuel prices, new sulphur regulations in Emission Control Areas still mean significantly increased fuel bills for the cruise industry,” said Christer Karlsson, senior vice president of newbuilds for Norwegian Cruise Line.

“In conjunction with the importance of constantly improving sustainability, it is therefore critical that we look at viable opportunities that improve operational and environmental efficiencies, driving down fuel bills and reducing emissions."

Last month, the company announced that a fully optimised system could produce up to 5 percent in bunker savings.