JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Yara debuts world's first autonomous electric container ship

Yara debuts world's first autonomous electric container ship

Saturday, November 20, 2021, 15:35 GMT+7
Yara debuts world's first autonomous electric container ship
Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, is moored in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

The Yara Birkeland, an 80-metre-long (87 yards) so-called feeder, is set to replace lorry haulage between Yara's plant in Porsgrunn in southern Norway and its export port in Brevik, about 14 km (8.7 miles) away by road, starting next year.

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

For Yara it means reducing CO2 emissions at its plant in Porsgrunn, one of Norway's single largest sources of CO2, Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether said.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten shows one of eight battery rooms onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten shows one of eight battery rooms onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

Built by Vard Norway, Kongsberg provided key technology including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations.

"This isn't about replacing the sailors, it's replacing the truck drivers," Yara's Jostein Braaten, project manager for the ship, said at the ship's bridge, which will be removed when the vessel is running at full automation.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten stands onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten stands onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

Sensors will be able to quickly detect and understand objects like kayaks in the water so the ship can decide what action to take to avoid hitting anything, Braaten said.

The system should be an improvement over having a manual system, he added.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten walks onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten walks onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

"We've taken away the human element, which today is also the cause of many of the accidents we see," Braaten said.

The ship, which will do two journeys per week to start with, has capacity to ship 120 20-foot containers of fertiliser at a time.

It is powered by batteries provided by Swiss Leclanche packing 7 megawatt hours over eight battery rooms, the equivalent of 100 Tesla cars, Braaten said.

Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, is moored in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, is moored in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

The Yara Birkeland, an 80-metre-long (87 yards) so-called feeder, is set to replace lorry haulage between Yara's plant in Porsgrunn in southern Norway and its export port in Brevik, about 14 km (8.7 miles) away by road, starting next year.

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

For Yara it means reducing CO2 emissions at its plant in Porsgrunn, one of Norway's single largest sources of CO2, Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether said.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten shows one of eight battery rooms onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten shows one of eight battery rooms onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

Built by Vard Norway, Kongsberg provided key technology including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations.

"This isn't about replacing the sailors, it's replacing the truck drivers," Yara's Jostein Braaten, project manager for the ship, said at the ship's bridge, which will be removed when the vessel is running at full automation.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten stands onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten stands onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

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

Sensors will be able to quickly detect and understand objects like kayaks in the water so the ship can decide what action to take to avoid hitting anything, Braaten said.

The system should be an improvement over having a manual system, he added.

Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten walks onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland Project Manager Jostein Braaten walks onboard the Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

"We've taken away the human element, which today is also the cause of many of the accidents we see," Braaten said.

The ship, which will do two journeys per week to start with, has capacity to ship 120 20-foot containers of fertiliser at a time.

It is powered by batteries provided by Swiss Leclanche packing 7 megawatt hours over eight battery rooms, the equivalent of 100 Tesla cars, Braaten said.

Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, is moored in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters
Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, is moored in Oslo, Norway November 19, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

More

Read more

ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base: analyst note

ChatGPT, the popular chatbot from OpenAI, is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to a UBS study on Wednesday

20 hours ago

Missing radioactive capsule found in Western Australia

Australian authorities on Wednesday found a radioactive capsule that was lost in the vast Outback after nearly a week-long search along a 1,400 km (870-mile) stretch of highway, an emergency services official said

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news