Yara Debuts World’s First Autonomous Electric Container Ship


The world’s first fully electric and self-steering container ship, owned by fertilizer maker Yara, is preparing to navigate the southern coast of Norway and play its part in the country’s plans to clean up its industry.

Yara Birkeland, an 80 m long (87 yard) so-called feeder, is set to replace lorry haulage between Yara’s plant at Porsgrun in southern Norway and its export port in Brevik, which is approximately 14 km (8.7 mi) by road. is far. , starting next year.

It will cut carbon emissions by 1,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of 40,000 diesel-powered trips by road, and is expected to be fully autonomous in two years.

For Yara this means Norwegian single . One is to reduce CO2 emissions at its plant in Porsgrunn. biggest source Sven Tor Holsthr, CEO of CO2 said.

“Now we have taken this technological leap to show that it is possible, and I am thinking that there are many routes in the world where it is possible to implement the same type of ship,” he told Reuters.

Built by Ward Norway, Kongsberg provided key technology, including the sensors and integrations needed for remote and autonomous operation.

“It’s not about replacing sailors, it’s replacing truckers,” said Yarra’s Jostein Bratten, the ship’s project manager on the ship’s bridge, which will be removed when the ship is operating at full automation.

The ship would load and offload its cargo, recharge its batteries and also navigate without human involvement.

Breton said the sensors will be able to quickly detect and understand objects like kayaks in the water so that the ship can decide what action to take to avoid colliding with anything.

He said that the system should be improved as compared to having a manual system.

“We’ve taken away the human element, which is still the cause of many of the accidents we see today,” Breton said.

The ship, which will initially make two trips per week, has the capacity to ship 120 20-foot fertilizer containers at a time.

It is powered by batteries provided by Swiss LeClanche, packing 7 megawatt-hours in eight battery rooms, producing 100 . Is equal to Tesla cars, Breton said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021