Silverstream air lubrication agreed for new LNG carriers

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 28 August 2019


Air lubrication specialist Silverstream Technologies has announced the signing of a MoU with Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua, part of the CSSC Group. The MoU will see Silverstream’s air lubrication technology integrated into Hudong-Zhonghua’s new building designs for its future LNG carriers in order to increase operational and fuel efficiencies, reducing fuel costs and emissions by between 6% and 8% for laden and ballast conditions.

The MoU is a significant landmark for Silverstream, as it is the company’s first LNG class newbuild project. It also represents both the Asian market’s growing interest in air lubrication systems, and its wider demand for greater efficiencies and sustainability in newbuild orders.

Mr. Danping Lou, Chief Technical Officer, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a part of CSSC Group (left) with Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies (right)

Commenting on the development, Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said, “We are delighted and honoured to have signed this landmark agreement with Hudong-Zhonghua, one of the world’s largest and most respected ship yards. It is a significant step for Silverstream as we expand into a new vessel class, and further grow our customer base in the important Asian market.”

The signing of the MoU marks 12 months of in-depth collaboration between the two organisations, which culminated in the approval of Silverstream’s technology onto Hudong-Zhonghua’s LNG carrier newbuild designs. Both Silverstream and Hudong-Zhonghua will continue to collaborate to drive the sales process with prospective ship owners, working together to ensure the optimum efficiency and design on future orders from the yard.

Danping Lou, Chief Technical Officer, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, said, “We are committed to bringing to market the most operational and energy efficient newbuild vessels for the LNG sector. In working closely with Silverstream over the past 12 months, we have seen the real attributes of air lubrication technology and the Silverstream System, and it was clear that incorporating it into the designs for our newbuild LNG vessels, in conjunction with other measures, would deliver optimum performance. We are confident that these new vessels will set the benchmarks for vessel design and performance in the LNG sector.”

Additionally, the UK Government’s Department for International Trade has played an important role in developing the strong relationship between the UK and Asia, both in terms of maritime innovation, and bringing the two companies together. Lei Cullinan, Head of Marine China, Department for International Trade, said, “Asia is the world’s largest shipbuilding market and combined with the UK’s pedigree for maritime innovation creates the foundation to create new technologies and ship designs that meet the sustainability challenges that the shipping industry faces. This agreement between Hudong-Zhonghua and Silverstream is evidence of this and highlights the opportunity to continue to drive progressive and positive change.”

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