Rio Tinto Bulker Takes on Air Lubrication System

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday April 18, 2024

Mining company Rio Tinto is set to equip one of its dry bulk carriers with a bunker-saving air lubrication system.

Alfa Laval will retrofit one of the firm's bulkers with one of its OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication systems, it said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"The solution combines air lubrication with fluidic technology to create an even air layer with high efficiency and little compressor power," the company said in the statement.

"Through this innovative approach, OceanGlide creates a more streamlined air layer on the vessel's flat bottom by dividing the surface into segments, with each segment featuring its own fluidic band.

"The independent steering of each band allows a more controlled airflow to reduce friction between the hull and water.

"This distribution of bands into sections creates a more dynamic air layer, maximizing coverage and eliminating passive cavities along the vessel's underside."

Shipping companies are increasingly taking on energy-saving technologies like air lubrication systems in a bid to cut their fuel bills and GHG emissions.