In May 2017, YARA and KONGSBERG collaborated to build the world's first autonomous, electric container vessel. Yara Birkeland will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area. Now the shipyard has been selected and construction will begin.

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Yara Birkeland will be delivered from Vard Brevik in Norway in the first quarter of 2020. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.

The project has received NOK 133.6 million in support from the Norwegian government enterprise ENOVA.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was also present for the signing at the ship yard in Brevik, and stated:

This is a good example of how Norwegian industry can collaborate to create new solutions and green jobs. YARA, KONGSBERG and VARD have built on their knowledge about technology, logistics and ship building with an ambition to create sustainable innovation together. The result is exciting pioneer projects like this one.

The project aims to improve the logistics at Yara's Porsgrunn fertilizer plant. Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are required to transport products from Yara's Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where the company ships products to customers around the world.

With the new autonomous battery-driven container vessel YARA moves transport from road to sea and reduces noise and dust emissions, improves the safety of local roads, and reduces NOx and CO2 emissions.