The new vessel is expected to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety, by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys in populated urban areas. It 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.
"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 Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.
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.
"YARA Birkeland will set the benchmark for the application of innovative maritime technology for more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping," commented Geir Håøy, President and CEO of Kongsberg.