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Marine clean tech firm inks £1m deal with Carnival Cruises to deploy ‘micro-bubble carpet’ technology


Silverstream Technologies solution smothers ships’ hulls in bubbles to save on fuel. Credit: Silverstream Technologies

Silverstream Technologies has developed a system where a carpet of microbubbles is spread across a ship’s hull in order to reduce friction, save fuel and slash carbon emissions.

A clean technology firm that has developed a system that spreads a carpet of micro-bubbles between a ship’s hull and the water to reduce drag and enhance fuel efficiency has landed a £1m deal with Carnival Cruises.

Silverstream Technologies’ innovative system, which pumps tiny bubbles through vents on a boat’s hull to reduce friction between the vessel and the water, reduces fuel consumption by between five to 12 per cent, according to the Department of International Trade.

Minister for Exports Graham Stuart yesterday touted the technology as the “perfect example” of how maritime businesses can leverage new technology to slash their carbon footprint.

This week’s deal with the US cruise giant is the latest in a string of contracts secured by Silverstream Technologies of late, following agreements with Grimaldi Group, oil giant Shell’s shipping division, and Lloyd’s Register.

The DoIT, trade advisor for the London-based clean tech firm, said that it expected the company’s overall turnover to double by the end of the year, due to pipeline of deals in Europe and Asia.

Noah Silberschmidt, Silverstream Technologies founder and chief executive, wants the microbubble technology to establish a greener global shipping standard. “Shipping is one of the hard to decarbonise global industries so we have spent the last few years independently testing our system to support our claims,” he said. “We want to become a standard on new build vessels in the industry and to be the ‘new normal’ for sustainable shipping.”

The carbon-intensive maritime sector, which facilitates 95 per cent of all of the UK trade, has a long way to go before it reaches its net zero emissions target by mid-century.

But Stuart said that companies like Silverstream would contribute to the country reaching its zero carbon goal. “The UK is a global leader in green transport solutions and the perfect place for companies like Silverstream to go global and contribute to our net zero 2050 ambition,” he said. 

Harry Thechari, chair of Maritime UK, echoed the minister’s sentiment. “Silverstream Technologies shows that innovative solutions are being found to help the maritime sector reach its net zero carbon emissions challenge – and then be exported around the world. With 90 per cent of all global trade moving by ship, the market opportunity is vast,” he said. “By developing cutting-edge green technologies, our businesses are delivering sustainable solutions and real economic and societal benefits.”

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