The ship was retrofitted with the air lubrication system in October. Image Credit: Silverstream Technologies
An LNG carrier has been able to make fuel savings of 6.6% in a trial of the air lubrication system developed by Silverstream Technologies.
The Shell-chartered 170,000 m3 LNG carrier Methane Patricia Camila tested the system at various speeds during normal operations after its retrofit in October 2020, Silverstream said in an emailed statement on Friday. Shell and Silverstream's engineers reported a 6.6% reduction in fuel consumption as a result.
"It is great to announce that retrofitting the Silverstream System onboard the Methane Patricia Camila has already had a significant positive impact on fuel consumption and emissions, with 6.6% savings verified during initial testing," Noal Silberschmidt, CEO of Silverstream, said in the statement.
"With fuel bills only set to rise in the future, owners need to invest in fuel-agnostic technologies that are proven to save costs and emissions, without impacting the flexibility or profitability of the vessel."
The systems, first developed several years ago under the company'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.
Shipping companies are investigating a range of new technologies that can save them both in fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions as the industry gradually bears down on its carbon footprint. Taking on a variety of fuel-efficiency measures and technologies may be enough to deliver the International Maritime Organization's goal of cutting emissions per transport work by at least 40% from 2008's levels by 2030.
Over the longer term the shipping industry will need to shift to zero-carbon fuels, but fuel-efficiency measures and technologies will still be useful at that point to help mitigate the much higher cost of the new fuels.