Swiss container shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has ordered 30 air lubrication systems from British clean technology company Silverstream Technologies which represents “the largest order of air lubrication technology from a single operator to date”.

Silverstream’s air lubrication systems will be installed on the existing MSC’s containerships, and are expected to cut more than $293 million (saving of €257.5 million) in fuel costs.

Furthermore, a carbon emissions reduction of 1.6 million tonnes, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 350,000 cars, could be achieved as a direct impact of having the system onboard the ships, the company estimates.

The units equipped with the new technology are expected to be delivered from shipyards in Asia between 2022 and 2024.

“The significant order is the single largest installation programme that Silverstream Technologies has ever conducted of its market-leading air lubrication technology, and is a definitive indicator of MSC’s commitment to decarbonisation and the technology as a fuel and emissions efficiency solution,” Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement and are ready for the challenge of managing our largest ever installation programme at five different shipyards. Once launched, these newbuild vessels will be some of the most efficient container ships on the oceans.” “With the right hull design and the substantial reduction in carbon emissions that the Silverstream System can offer, we’ve found the … match to fit our fleet with an effective efficiency solution, and move us closer to a zero carbon future,” Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuildings, MSC, added.

Silverstream’s technology has been independently proven to save 5-10% of fuel and emissions by generating a rigid carpet of air bubbles that reduce friction between the hull and the water. 

The system is effective in all sea conditions and is also suitable for both newbuild applications and retrofit installations, the company noted.

A few months ago, Silverstream installed its air lubrication systems on Vale-chartered newbuild ore carrier Sea Victoria. The installation is the first time that any air lubrication technology has been deployed on a very large ore carrier (VLOC).