The technology uses a carpet of micro bubbles to reduce friction between a vessel’s hull and the surrounding water, with the aim of improving performance, bringing down fuel bills, and cutting emissions.
Earlier this year, Silverstream and Shell reported that they had successfully trialled the air-lubrication system, claiming it could deliver fuel-efficiency savings of up to 5 per cent.
“Despite the recent decline in fuel prices, new sulphur regulations in Emission Control Areas still mean significantly increased fuel bills for the cruise industry,” said Christer Karlsson, senior vice president of newbuild, Norwegian Cruise Line.
“In conjunction with the importance of constantly improving sustainability, it is therefore critical that we look at viable opportunities that improve operational and environmental efficiencies, driving down fuel bills and reducing emissions. The Silverstream System is an example of such a clean technology that can genuinely make a difference.”
The Norwegian Bliss is scheduled for delivery in spring 2017 from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, and Norwegian Cruise Line has the option of outfitting two further vessels with the technology.
“It is a landmark moment for the company to secure a significant order from a leading cruise operator, which will be installed and delivered by one of the world’s most respected ship yards for technology and innovation,” said Noah Silberschmidt, CEO of Silverstream Technologies.
“Not only does this highlight the Silverstream System and air lubrication as an applied and sustainable clean technology, it also demonstrates the industry’s culture and desire to improve their operational and environmental efficiencies as a means of reducing emissions, fuel costs, and improving the sustainability of their operations.”