Features
March 14, 2018

The first ever zero emission, autonomous ship

By: Asle Skredderberget

Yara Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. With this vessel, Yara will reduce diesel-powered truck haulage by 40,000 journeys a year.


Named “Yara Birkeland” after Yara’s founder, the famous scientist and innovator Kristian Birkeland, the vessel will be the world’s first fully electric container feeder.

“With Yara Birkeland we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara

A game changer

This new zero-emission vessel will be a game-changer for global maritime transport contributing to meet the UN sustainability goals.

 “As a leading global fertilizer company with a mission to feed the world and protect the planet, investing in this zero emission vessel to transport our crop nutrition solutions fits our strategy well. We are proud to work with KONGSBERG to realize the world’s first autonomous, all-electric vessel to enter commercial operation,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.

“Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where we ship products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce  NOx and CO2 emissions,” says Holsether.  

Yara Birkeland model

 
A giant step forward for seaborne transportation

KONGSBERG is responsible for development and delivery of all key enabling technologies on Yara Birkeland including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems.

“By moving container transport from land to sea, Yara Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals. The new concept is also a giant step forward towards increased seaborne transportation in general,” says Geir Håøy, President and CEO of KONGSBERG.

As a leading global maritime technology company, KONGSBERG’s integrated control and monitoring systems are already capable of providing technology for remote and unmanned operations. Yara Birkeland will benefit from competence and technologies developed across KONGSBERG.

Operation is planned to start in the latter half of 2018, shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn production plant to Brevik and Larvik in Norway.