Alfa Laval offers shipowners the benefits of fluid air lubrication technology

Alfa Laval announces the completion of the acquisition of Marine Performance Systems BV, a Rotterdam-based marine technology company that developed the first fluid air lubrication system on the market. The move will allow Alfa Laval to bring this eco-friendly technology to market, which will significantly help improve ship efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and minimize emissions from ships.

Promotion of energy-efficient and sustainable shipping

With the acquisition of a minority stake in Marine Performance Systems BV (MPS) in 2021, Alfa Laval has now taken the final step to fully integrate the company under its own brand. The acquisition will accelerate the further development and commercialization of the patented FluidicAL fluidic air lubrication system to help ships sail sustainably.

A ship’s friction while sailing is the most important factor in its fuel consumption and accounts for up to 60 percent of a ship’s operating costs. MPS’ advanced fluidic air lubrication system combines fluidic and air lubrication technologies to significantly reduce ship friction while sailing. The system is unique in its use of fluidics to create micro-air bubbles with a high degree of control, while maintaining a layer of air covering the entire flat bottom area of ​​the vessel for maximum effectiveness. The reduction in frictional resistance on the ship’s hull leads to reduced fuel consumption.

“By adding air lubrication systems to our portfolio, we are pleased to further expand our offering of energy-efficient and sustainable solutions for our customers,” says Anders Lindmark, Business Unit President Heat & Gas Systems, Alfa Laval. “Since 2021 we have been closely supporting the development of MPS air lubrication technology and have been impressed with the performance of the fluidic air lubrication systems we have installed on board ships.”

Maximizing cost savings and minimizing emissions

With its ability to offer shipowners numerous benefits in one solution, fluid air lubrication technology is expected to have a significant impact on the decarbonization of shipping. By reducing friction, air lubrication not only helps to reduce emissions but also offers significant fuel cost savings and an improvement in overall ship efficiency at a ship’s normal operating speed and a payback period of less than 3 years.

“In today’s maritime industry, solutions that reduce operating costs and minimize emissions are more important than ever. The MPS Air Lubrication System was developed with the needs and challenges of the marine industry in mind. It gives shipowners access to an easy-to-install solution that offers a perfect balance between operational and financial flexibility while significantly reducing environmental emissions,” says Anders.

The patented FluidicAL system requires no structural modifications or tank recertification, making it ideal for retrofit as well as new construction. With a minimum footprint and maximum flexibility, the system can be configured and optimized for each vessel’s design and operational profile, ensuring seamless integration with existing onboard technology.

Enabling compliance with environmental regulations

The air lubrication technology is recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an “Innovative Energy Efficiency Technology” for reducing CO2 emissions. The technology supports Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) compliance, Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) compliance and carbon intensity reduction to meet IMO Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) requirements. In addition, the innovative fluid air lubrication technology minimizes CO2 emissions and thus contributes to limiting the CO2 tax.

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