Air lubrication specialist, Silverstream Technologies, and marine engine company, MAN Energy Solutions, have signed an agreement to collaborate on joint installations both for newbuildings and existing ships.
The logic underpinning the tie-up is that air lubrication, though beneficial to all ships in all sea states, is particularly effective on large ocean-going vessels owing to the size and shape of their hulls. And MAN’s two-stroke engines are the preferred choice of propulsion for these commercial vessels, the companies noted.
Silverstream’s technology is based on the release of a carpet of air that reduces the frictional resistance of ships’ hulls, typically cutting average net fuel consumption by 5-10%. Since MAN engines are to be found on approximately half of the world’s merchant vessels, the agreement could lead to a sizeable reduction in shipping’s carbon emissions.
MAN Energy Solutions’ head of Two-Stroke Business, Bjarne Foldager, said: “There are many different ways to approach net-zero, and MAN Energy Solutions is happy to work with like-minded industry partners in this pursuit. Decarbonising the marine segment is a giant task, but Silverstream, with its innovative technology, displays great potential in this regard. I am certain that this agreement will deliver interesting insights and, crucially, concrete proposals to further our mutual aims.”
Silverstream’s founder and CEO, Noah Silberschmidt, noted: "It was a pleasure to meet up with our new partners at MAN Energy Solutions this month at the Global Maritime Forum in Athens to sign this important agreement. Shipping must rise to the challenges of decarbonisation, new regulations, and increasingly complex fuel economics. In collaboration with MAN ES, we are leading the way to the cleaner, greener vessels needed to achieve the IMO’s carbon reduction targets; pursuing the mantra that the greenest fuel is the fuel that you do not use."
The latest figures for October 2023 show that 50 ships now have Silverstream air lubrication installations, and the company has 130 systems on order. The company’s customers include MSC, Maersk, Grimaldi, Shell, Vale, Carnival, and ADNOC Logistics and Services, the maritime division of Abu Dhabi’s energy company.
Silverstream and MAN to collaborate