In one of the most compelling solutions yet devised to the decarbonisation conundrum, UK-based Silverstream Technologies’ air lubrication system (ALS) is helping shipping lines of all types reduce fuel consumption and emissions by between 5% and 10%, says an article published in Seatrade Maritime News.
In the seventh in a series of interviews ahead of Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East, Craig Patrick, Vice President, Sales, Silverstream Technologies, London, UK, spoke to Seatrade Maritime News about developments in the technology.
“Today, Silverstream continues to grow its global operations at pace. There are now over 155 vessels contracted to have our system installed, 33 of which are in service today. Our success is increasingly being recognised outside of the shipping industry as well,” he said.
“Silverstream is realistically targeting 500 orders by 2025 as a result of this strong momentum.”
By the end of 2022, Silverstream had 132 vessels contracted to install the system, 24 of which were in service at the time. This was made possible by the 95 ALS experts—with over 1 million hours of ALS know-how between them—situated in its London and Shanghai offices.
“We have been named the fourth fastest growing company in Europe by the Financial Times, and the third fastest growing in the UK, with an annual growth of 426% over three years. We also received the King’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade, the UK’s highest accolade recognising success in business,” he said.
Today, Silverstream has partnerships with 19 shipyards in various locations around the world. “We are receiving more orders within the Bulk and Tanker market and are breaking into the PCTC (pure car and truck carrier) market for the first time as well,” he said.
Silverstream delivered its 1,000th air release unit, a key component of the ALS hardware, seen as a testament to the time and effort invested over the past decade into extensive network of trusted global supply chain partners who enable the manufacturing and installation of its system worldwide.
The Silverstream System is an air lubrication technology which spreads a carpet of air underneath the hull of a vessel to reduce frictional resistance against the water, lowering fuel consumption and consequent greenhouse gas emissions, Patrick explains.
“Silverstream Technologies’ market-leading ALS sprays a layer of microbubbles into the boundary layer of the hull reducing average net fuel consumption and emissions by 5%-10%. The system is applicable to all shipping segments across newbuild and retrofit applications and is effective in all sea states,” he said.
Embracing clean technologies is now a commercial necessity driven by investor, regulatory and public demand, Silverstream says. “Silverstream works with the best owners, operators and yards to integrate our market-leading air lubrication technology, the Silverstream System, into the world’s fleet.”
Silverstream says its technology has been adopted by MSC, Shell, Carnival, Grimaldi, Maersk, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Vale. Above all, Silverstream’s strongest endorsement is that many of its customers opt for repeat and even fleet-wide orders of the system.
“Silverstream Technologies has become a lifetime partner for many of the world’s leading shipowners and charterers. Our technology is designed to last the lifespan of a vessel which gives our customers the assurance that they will see our promised efficiency savings year-on-year until the vessel goes out of service,”he said.
“At the centre of our business model is the value we place on transparency—transparency of our system performance in sea trials, of our third party verified savings reports, and in how we work with customers to help them unlock maximum efficiency gains. Our clients have responded well to this approach which is one of the reasons why today we are endorsed by some of the biggest names in the shipping industry.”
He indicated that future technological developments could add to business lines in future. Silverstream’s innovation, research and development (IR&D) team continues to develop new iterations and applications of the technology with, for instance, airflow optimisation, to ensure that power consumption is minimised.
The firm also has access to an increasing volume of data being collected from operational vessels. This, together with considerable investment in its data team—including the addition of a Chief Digital & Information Officer (CD&IO) to lead its data strategy—helps it maximise system performance and drive further value for customers.
“Silverstream Technologies is always looking to support new and existing clients who are searching for a viable lifetime efficiency technology partner to help with their decarbonisation roadmaps. After a rapid acceleration of orders in the past few years, we are very well placed to work with ship owners across all major segments,” Patrick said.
“The commercial imperative for maritime decarbonisation is now clear and the Silverstream System represents a proven solution to improve the efficiency of the global fleet.”
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