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Fuel-saving Silverstream System to be installed on 12 Grimaldi ships

Air lubrication technology to be fitted in addition to batteries, solar panels and scrubbers.

Animation still of the Silverstream System on the flat bottom of a vessel. The system is designed as a fully integrated solution and comprises purpose-built steel cavities and high-performance compressors controlled by an on-board control and monitoring system. Image credit: Silverstream Technologies

Updated on 29 Aug 2018 00:01 GMT

Silverstream Technologies, a developer of air lubrication technology for the shipping industry, reports that it has signed a new deal with Italian shipowner Grimaldi.

The agreement will see the Silverstream System, Silverstream's proprietary air lubrication technology, installed on 12 hybrid ro-ro vessels that are being built over the next three years.

The technology, which produces a thin layer of micro-bubbles for the flat bottom of the vessel - designed to reduce the frictional resistance between the water and the hull, and thus save fuel - will be a key part of the new design's portfolio of bunker-saving measures.

The Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) vessel project was conceived over the last year in conjunction with Danish naval architect Knud E Hansen. The vessels will emit zero emissions in port following the installation of lithium batteries, and, in addition to Silverstream's technology, will also be fitted with solar panels and scrubbers to further reduce emissions.

Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director, Grimaldi Group said: "I am pleased that the Silverstream System will form the centrepiece of our pioneering new Ro-Ro vessels. The GG5G project always set out to create a new paradigm in ship design and demonstrate to the whole industry what is possible in terms of driving sustainability with proven solutions already on the market. In signing this deal with Silverstream, we have shown that a more sustainable future for shipping is not just possible, but is closely within our grasp."

Dario Bocchetti, Head of Corporate Energy Saving and Innovation Dept at Grimaldi, commented: "Grimaldi's commitment to sustainability is unparalleled within the shipping industry. This deal with Silverstream demonstrates that the time for innovative solutions to shipping's problems is upon us. The reduction of fuel costs and associated emissions is central to Grimaldi's aims as a progressive, forward-thinking company, and we are extremely pleased that Silverstream will help us fulfil those goals."

Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, remarked: "This agreement marks an important milestone in the continued proliferation of air lubrication technology in the shipping industry. With major environmental regulatory challenges on the horizon, it is important to see key players like Grimaldi stepping forward and proving that solutions to reduce fuel costs and emissions are already available on the market. We believe that this deal has thrown down the gauntlet for other shipowners, and sends a message that real savings can be realised through the application of credible and proven clean technologies."

The Grimaldi Group expects the first of the new vessels to be completed in May 2020 and become operational by the third quarter of 2020 on Mediterranean ro-ro trade routes.

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