Yara Birkeland press kit

Yara Birkeland status

November 2020

Yara Birkeland in Brattvåg

In November, the ship was handed over to Yara from the Norwegian shipyard Vard Brattvåg. The vessel is undergoing testing and preparations for autonomous operations.

Yara Birkeland is an example of Yara's ambition to innovate and find climate-friendly solutions which can be commercialized. However, innovation projects come with uncertainties and challenges. In particular, the autonomous logistics on land that have proven to be a challenge for the project. The construction of the ship has been done according to plan with slight delays, including the fitting of the battery, control and navigation systems, For the autonomous logistics on land the project team continues to look for simplified solutions to this.

Yara's goal is to complete the project and bring the emission-free ship into commercial operation. Different ownership models or partnerships will be evaluated for operation and commercialization.

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Status April 2020

The hull of the Yara Birkeland vessel was launched to sea in Romania in February 2020 and is expected to arrive at the Norwegian shipyard in May where she will be fitted with various control- and navigation systems and undergo testing before delivery to Yara. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the changed global outlook, Yara has decided to pause further development of the vessel and will assess next steps together with its partners.

Yara Birkeland vessel launched to sea

Yara Birkeland vessel at sea

Yara and technology company Kongsberg teamed up in 2017 with the ambition to build the world's first autonomous and zero-emission container vessel. Replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year, Yara Birkeland will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area in Norway.

Photo of Josiane Kremer
Josiane Kremer
Director External Communications
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Vessel estimated key figures and facts

120 TEU Open Hatch Container Feeder - fully battery powered solution. Prepared for autonomous operation.
Yara Birkeland prototype
Yara Birkeland prototype

Main particulars

  • LOA 80 m
  • Beam 15 m

Depth 12 m

  • Draught (full) 6.3 m
  • Eco speed 6-7 knots
  • Max speed 13 knots


  • Cargo capacity 120 TEU
  • Deadweight 3200 mt


  • Azipull pods 2 x 900 kW
  • Tunnel thrusters 2 x 700 kW


  • Capacity 7 MWh