MHI 'Air-Carpet' – First Order for a Cruise Ship

Press Release
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
MHI MALS 'Air Carpet': Image credit MHI

The first fuel-saving "Air-Carpet" system for cruise ships is to be provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Indurstries for 2 AIDA Cruises newbuildings

 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will install its innovative "Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System" (MALS) on two large cruise ships to be built for the AIDA Cruises, a German brand of Carnival Corporation.

MALS is MHI's proprietary technology that reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) by a layer of air bubbles blown out from the vessel's bottom.

The application of the MALS for the two cruise ships ordered by AIDA Cruises was decided by their keen interest in lowering fuel consumption and easing the burden on the environment. The system is expected to reduce the vessel's fuel consumption by approximately 7%.

The 125,000 gross tonnage (G/T), 3,250 passenger ships will be the largest ever constructed for AIDA Cruises. Construction will take place at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, with deliveries scheduled for the spring of 2015 and 2016, respectively.


The air blown out by the MALS from the vessel's bottom produces small air bubbles which cover the vessel's bottom like an "air-carpet", which reduces friction between the hull and seawater during navigation. For the MALS, MHI uses special in-house developed high-efficiency blowers and state-of-the-art fluid simulation analysis tools to configure the arrangement of air outlet points to achieve maximum friction reduction at optimized air-blow volume.

 In 2010, MHI has already verified the performance of the MALS with an approximately 13% fuel consumption reduction during extensive sea trials on two module carriers which was the first commercial application of the MALS for the vessel in operation.


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