Maersk to Investigate Air Lubrication Systems for New Methanol-Fuelled Boxships

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday October 7, 2021

Engineering firm Wärtsilä is set to install a fuel-saving air lubrication system from Silverstream Technologies on board a container ship owned by AP Moller-Maersk.

Wärtsilä will install the system on a trial basis during the second quarter of next year, it said in an emailed statement on Thursday. One of the trial's purposes will be to determine the potential application of the system for Maerk's new methanol-fuelled ships.

"Everything that we do today inevitably sets the future for coming generations, so we need to act in a positive way to ensure that decarbonising vessel propulsion is an effective priority for the industry," Bernd Bertram, vice president for propulsion at Wärtsilä Marine Power," said in the statement.

"This is a view that is shared by Maersk, a company with whom we have worked closely for many years.

"Silverstream's Air Lubrication System is an important stepping stone along this path."

Maersk expects the green methanol to be consumed by its new carbon-neutral ships to cost roughly twice as much as current conventional bunker fuels, making the fuel bill savings from energy-efficiency technologies like air lubrication more significant.

The systems, first developed several years ago under Sliverstream's previous name, DK Group, have shown consistent bunker savings of around 5% by letting a vessel ride on a carpet of air bubbles that reduces friction between the water and the hull surface.

Read More: How Does a Bunker Saving Air Lubrication System Work? [VIDEO]