COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry, Silverstream enter air lubrication pact

Maritime clean technology firm Silverstream Technologies has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to install its air lubrication system in COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (CHI) shipyards.

This will enable Silverstream to investigate additional options for the fabrication and supply of components of the system in China and the Asia-Pacific region and it directly supports the company’s strategy of direct engagement with Chinese shipyards.

The Silverstream air lubrication system reduces frictional resistance between the water and the hull surface and, according to the company, reduces net fuel consumption and associated emissions by an average of 5-10%. It can be retrofitted in 10 days or less as well as being applicable to newbuilds. It lasts for the entire lifetime of the ship and its return on investment is typically between two and five years.

Air lubrication technology is one of DNV’s recommended technologies for operational energy efficiency measures which can contribute to overcoming decarbonization challenges. Currently, air lubrication systems are installed on or ordered for more than 250 vessels in total.

As of August 2023, the Silverstream system was contracted to 179 vessels across all shipping segments, with 44 of those ships already in service with the system onboard. Silverstream is realistically targeting 500 orders by 2025.

Silverstream stated that, when the new IMO CII and EU ETS regulations come into force in 2024, the need for improved vessel efficiency and for adopting energy efficiency technologies would only increase.

As for CHI, it operates nine shipyards – four for newbuilds and five for ship repairs. It ranks second in China for newbuild market share volumes and equal first in the repair/retrofits market. The company operates yards for shipowners based around the world, including for its several sister COSCO Shipping companies.

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