Two Norwegian companies, Kongsberg and the chemical company Yara have teamed up for the launch if the world’s first fully autonomous, zero-emissions ship.
Operation is planned to start in the latter half of 2018, shipping products from YARA’s Porsgrunn production plant to the ports of Brevik and Larvik in Norway.
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.
Set to be a real game-changer for maritime transport, the vessel will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions by reducing diesel-powered truck haulage by around 40,000 journeys per year, and thereby also improve road safety. Autonomous and 100% electric, “YARA Birkeland” will be the world’s most advanced container feeder ship.
Kongsberg will integrate sensor, control, communication and electrical systems, and the eco-initiative will help to meet the UN sustainability goals. YARA Birkeland will initially operate as a manned vessel, moving to remote operation in 2019 and expected to be capable of performing fully autonomous operations from 2020.
Svein Tore Holsether, president and CEO of YARA explains the need for such an initiative, stating that “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.”
“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,” he adds.
Geir Håøy, president and CEO of Konsberg elaborates that ‘developing systems for autonomous operations is a major opening and natural step for KONGSBERG, considering their decades of expertise in the development and integration of advanced sensors, control and communication systems for all areas of ship operations. “YARA Birkeland will set the benchmark for the application of innovative maritime technology for more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping,” he says.
Yara’s knowledge, products and solutions grow farmers’, distributors’ and industrial customers’ businesses profitably and responsibly, while protecting the earth’s resources, food and environment.
Its fertilizers, crop nutrition programs and technologies increase yields, improve product quality and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices. Its industrial and environmental solutions improve air quality by reducing emissions from industry and transportation, and serve as key ingredients in the production of a wide range of goods. YARA fosters a culture that promotes the safety of employees, contractors and societies.
Founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe, today, Yara has a worldwide presence, with close to 15,000 employees and sales to about 160 countries.
Kongsberg (OSE-ticker: KOG) is an international, knowledge-based group delivering high technology systems and solutions to clients within the merchant marine, offshore, oil and gas industry, defence and aerospace. KONGSBERG has 7 200 employees located in more than 25 countries and total revenues of NOK 15.8 billion in 2016.
Norwegian Zero Emissions Ship Without Crew, edited by Admin