MSC, Celsius Latest Players to Fit Bunker Saving "Bubble Carpet" Systems

Wednesday September 5, 2018

The world’s second largest box carrier by capacity, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC), and European owner Celsius Tankers have both opted to use air lubrication systems as part of efforts to reduce bunker costs.

The technology typically offers net 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.

Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (SHI) today said such a system will feature on a container vessel currently under construction for for MSC.

SHI’s “SAVER Air” system will also feature on two 180,000㎥ LNG carriers being built for Celsius as part of a $374 million deal announced last month.

While historical adoption of such systems by the world fleet has been low, it is one of the many bunker savings technologies enjoying a period of renewed interest thanks to the upcoming IMO 2020 global sulfur cap, which is expected to raise fuel prices significantly.

Indeed, today’s news comes on the heels of Silverstream Technologies last week announcing 12 newbuild Ro-Ro vessels being build for Italian shipowner Grimaldi Group SpA will feature its air lubrication system.