Simplex-Compact Airspace seal is recognized as environmentally friendly in terms of VGP 2013

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    2014 March 17, 13:00 CET

    The Simplex-Compact Airspace sterntube seal from SKF Blohm + Voss Industries is recognized as environmentally friendly, according to the new terms of the Vessel General Permit 2013 (VGP 2013). The air chamber, which separates the oil and the water from each other, allows the seal and the whole sterntube to continue to be lubricated with mineral oils.

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 17 March, 2014: Today SKF Blohm + Voss Industries has received a “third party verification” by DNV GL confirming that the Simplex-Compact Airspace seal excludes contamination of sea water under normal operating conditions. During a Webinar on February 14, which was co-presented by SKF Blohm + Voss Industries, the EPA has confirmed that it excludes seals with a special air chamber system, such as the Simplex-Compact Airspace from the VGP 2013 regulations for oil-water interfaces, but has requested for third party verification. After reception of the DNV GL verification, SKF Blohm + Voss Industries can now state, that a whole sternstube system equipped with an Airspace seal can be operated using mineral oils.

    One of the requirements of the VGP 2013 regulations is that commercial ships with a length of more than 79 feet sailing in US waters must use what are termed Environmental Acceptable Lubricants (EAL) at interfaces where oil could enter seawater. For ships equipped with a Simplex-Compact Airspace seal, this regulation is no longer relevant related to the sterntubes.

    To avoid oil escaping into seawater, the Airspace seal provides a level of extra security. It is the only seal on the market that regulates the pressure in the air chamber without any air escaping into the water. In normal operation, the seawater cannot become contaminated by the oil particles that may nevertheless be present in the air chamber.

    VGP 2013 came into force on 19th December 2013. Any ship that has its keel laid down after this date and sails in US waters must comply with the VGP 2013 regulations. The same applies to ships following their first scheduled dry docking after this date. "To ensure their sterntube systems comply with the requirements of VGP 2013, ship operators now have three options," explains Claus Beiersdorfer, Sales Director of SKF Blohm + Voss Industries. "They can operate either with mineral oils and a seal with an air chamber system, use water-lubricated seals or use standard seals with EALs. The latter requires special sealing material. SKF Blohm + Voss Industries offers commercially viable solutions for all these options."

    An even stronger partner for the marine industry
    In early 2013, SKF has acquired Blohm + Voss Industries (BVI), the German manufacturer of ship components. With this acquisition, SKF intends to strengthen its product portfolio for the marine industry. Furthermore, SKF widens its access to the market by using BVI's world-wide leading network of Sales and Service partners. Customers will benefit from SKF's expertise as a knowledge engineering company in combination with BVI's focus on shipbuilding and ship operations. The new joint organisation will be an even stronger partner for the marine industry, supplying critical components and fast and reliable services, as well as developing new applications that address future challenges in the ever changing environment of the industry.

    Aktiebolaget SKF

    For further information, please contact:
    Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 706 67 28 97;
    SKF Blohm + Voss Industries GmbH, Head of Corporate Communications:
    Malte Blombach, +49 40 3011-1133, +49 174 3132649,

    SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2013 were SEK 63,597 million and the number of employees was 48,401.

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