First fully ‘electric and self steering’ container ship by Yara

OSLO: Yara, a leading international fertilizer company has launched the world’s first electric and self-propelled container ship, ‘Yara Birkeland’. On Friday it departed for its first maiden voyage in the Oslo fjord. The ship has been built to provide autonomous operations, zero-emission shipping and decongested roads.

“We are proud to be able to showcase the world’s first fully electric and self-propelled container ship. It will cut 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replace 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks a year, says Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.

Yara Birkeland is an 80-metre-long container ship with a capacity to ship 120 20-foot containers of fertilizer at a time. It will take two journeys per week to transport mineral fertilizer between Porsgrunn and Brevik.

“This is an excellent example of green transition in practice, and we hope this ship will be the start of a new type of emission-free container ships. There are a lot of places in the world with congested roads that will benefit from a high-tech solution like this”, says Holsether.

Kongsberg, an international tech company provided key technology, including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations for the ship.

 Enova, a government enterprise responsible for promotion of renewable energy, has allocated up to NOK 133.5 million to build Yara Birkeland.

The two-year testing period of the technology that will make the ship self-propelled, and finally certified as an autonomous, all-electric container ship has begun. The ship will be available for commercial operation from 2022.

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