Grimaldi Sees 5.1% Fuel Savings From Silverstream Air Lubrication Trial

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday March 29, 2021

Shipping company Grimaldi Group has seen fuel savings of 5.1% from its trial of the air lubrication system developed by Silverstream Technologies.

Grimaldi has been testing the system on board its newbuild ro-ro vesselĀ Eco Valencia, Silverstream said in a statement on its website last week. The ship is the first in a series of nine Grimaldi vessels that will have the technology installed.

"The successful trial of the SilverstreamĀ® System and the CO2 reduction that it generates is an important step in Grimaldi Group's aim to lead on shipping sustainability," Alberto Portolano, project manager of AirLub design and integration at Grimaldi, said in the statement.

"The trials conducted with the ship in fully loaded service showed the air bubbles covering the entire hull bottom.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with Silverstream to benefit from their technology on more of our market-leading ro-ro vessels."

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.