Sep 6, 2023 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

Alfa Laval has been selected for installation of an OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication system on a 54,000 dwt LPG tanker owned by Kumiai Navigation, a Southeast Asian LPG tanker and bulk carrier company.

With this order, Alfa Laval has added LPG tankers to vessel types that can benefit from OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication system. The system is said to be easilly installed on both new and existing ships.

Alfa Laval OceanGlide is claimed to offer a uniquely efficient and easy-to-install air lubrication solution. The patented system uses fluidic technology to generate an even, controllable air layer across a vessel’s entire flat bottom, reducing friction and drag. By decreasing the vessel’s resistance, OceanGlide offers a proven method for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Kumiai Navigation MD Tomo Kuroyanagi said: “In these challenging times, we recognise that reliable partners such as Alfa Laval, are needed to achieve our sustainability goals. We want to invest in green shipping practices to help us lower our power consumption and comply with upcoming environmental regulations. In this effort, OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication is currently one of the best available solutions that offer remarkable gains in improving vessel performance and meeting our environmental targets.”

The decision to choose OceanGlide originated from the customer’s ambition to reduce the vessel’s energy consumption and emissions, coupled with the company’s perceived trust in Alfa Laval’s solution to make a significant impact on vessel’s carbon footprint.

Rajiv Sarin, Head of Air Lubrication, Alfa Laval said: “We are pleased to partner up with our customer, Kumiai Navigation, to serve the LPG tanker segment with our fluidic air lubrication system, OceanGlide. We value the trust our partner has in our technology and collaboration to help them achieve their goal of sailing sustainably. As the market for OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication grows, we are happy to support our customers in their efforts to reduce CO2  emissions and improve energy efficiency of their fleet as a retrofit or a new build installation.” 

OceanGlide’s fluidic technology creates and controls streamlined air layer sections on the vessel’s flat bottom, each with its own fluidic band. The independent steering of each band allows a more controlled airflow to reduce friction between the hull and water. These individually controlled sections serve to minimise drag and ensure maximum coverage, eliminating passive cavities along the vessel’s underside. Energy expenditure is minimised because there are few compressors and the bands add almost no drag when switched off. Air distribution bands are installed easily with minimal hull penetrations, which reduces shipyard time and costs, even as a retrofit.

OceanGlide has been proven to reduce specific drag by 50%–75% and can provide reliable fuel savings of up to 12% under real-life conditions. The actual amount of fuel savings achieved can vary depending on vessel operations and operator priorities. The technology also supports compliance with EEDI/ EEXI and CII requirements laid down by IMO to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Kuroyanagi concluded: “OceanGlide serves our goal of adopting advanced new sustainable technologies to remain competitive in this challenging market. We are excited to take advantage of the fluidic air lubrication technology to help us decarbonise and contribute towards our carbon reduction roadmap.”

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