CSSC Designs LNG Carriers with Fuel-Saving Air Lubrication System

Image courtesy Silverstream

Published Aug 30, 2019 11:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

Shipbuilding giant China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) is planning to integrate a novel technology into a future generation of LNG carriers. CSSC's Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding yard has signed an MOU with air lubrication system manufacturer Silverstream Technologies to use Silverstream's systems aboard a new LNG carrier design in order to boost fuel efficiency, reducing fuel costs and emissions by between six percent and eight percent for laden and ballast conditions. The vessels would be the first of their type to deploy Silverstream's air lubrication system. 

“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," said Noah Silberschmidt, CEO of Silverstream Technologies. "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.”

As demand for LNG transportation is set to rise in the near future, demand for new LNG carriers is increasing. One pending order stands out: the government of Qatar has announced its intention to purchase a full fleet of 60 vessels. 

At present, the "Big Three" South Korean shipyards dominate the LNG carrier construction market, which demands technical sophistication and yields higher margins for shipyards. Hudong-Zhonghua is China's most experienced yard for LNG carrier newbuilds. 

“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," said Danping Lou, the yard's chief technical officer. "We are confident that these new vessels will set the benchmarks for vessel design and performance in the LNG sector.”