Air lubrication company, Silverstream Technologies, and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (MMHE), have signed a strategic agreement to promote the carbon-saving technology in retrofit business.

MMHE is one of the leading LNG repair yards in Asia and is in a strong position to promote air lubrication technology amongst its LNG clients. The company’s air lubrication system has hit headlines recently, with leading container lines including Maersk and MSC having already tested the technology. MSC is now Silverstream systems on about 30 new container vessels currently under construction at yards in Asia.

However, the new tie-up comes at a critical moment for the operators of existing LNG carriers (LNGCs). The IMO’s new carbon efficiency measures – EEXI and CII – will enter force in January next year, and the carbon intensity indicator (CII) is set to tighten steadily over the second half of the decade.

Experts are already predicting that a large number of existing LNGCs, particularly older ones, will fall into non-compliant CII categories (D and E), largely because of the way in which they handle boil-off gas. Owners of such vessels will therefore be looking to undertake significant carbon-cutting upgrades to ensure their ships’ continue to rank in compliant CII categories (A,B, and C).

Noah Silberschmidt, Silverstream founder and owner, told Seatrade Maritime News last year that he expects air lubrication technology to become a standard feature on new ships in the future. However, he also stressed the importance of the retrofit market to improve the carbon footprints of thousands of existing vessels.

Speaking specifically about the MMHE deal, he said: “We are very pleased to announce our collaboration with MMHE, a world-class shipyard with an exceptional history in LNGC repair and conversion services. By working together, we aim not only to raise awareness among our combined customer base of Silverstream’s market-leading air lubrication technology, and MMHE’s role as one of the world’s leading LNGC shipyards, but also to encourage adoption of clean technologies more widely in the industry as an essential step in shipping’s decarbonisation journey.”

MMHE’s Pandai Othman, managing director and CEO, commented: “This strategic partnership is a promising start as it unlocks new commercial opportunities for both companies. Together, it allows us to bring the powerful combination of MMHE’s retrofit and conversion technical expertise and Silverstream’s air lubrication system to market in supporting our customers’ decarbonisation strategies, thus accelerating the industry’s transition to cleaner shipping.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime News