MSC Places Industry's Largest Ever Order for Air Lubrication Tech

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday September 21, 2021

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has placed an order with Silverstream Technologies to outfit more than 30 vessels in its newbuild pipeline with fuel-saving air lubrication technology.

Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO of Silverstream Technologies, said the deal represented "the single largest order of not only our technology, but of any air lubrication technology in the history of our market."

Air lubrication systems generate a "carpet" of bubbles from the front of a vessel, smoothing the hull's interface with the water to reduce friction and achieve fuel savings of some 5-10%.

While the cost of the systems has not yet been revealed, MSC says they will save it €250m ($293 million) in bunker costs over the 25 year lifespan of the vessels.

But with industry focus now firmly on reducing GHG emissions, Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuildings, MSC, was keen to stress the environmental benefit of the systems: "Air lubrication technology is one of the proven technologies that can help ships to achieve fuel savings and reduce energy losses.

"With the right hull design and the substantial reduction in carbon emissions that the Silverstream System can offer, we've found the perfect match to fit our fleet with an effective efficiency solution, and move us closer to a zero carbon future."

In all, MSC says the systems could cut up to 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The target vessels are expected to be delivered from shipyards in Asia between 2022 and 2024, and will likely be deployed on Asia / Europe trade lanes, MSC added.