The Yara Birkeland, which will enter commercial service in 2022, was developed by Yara together with Kongsberg Group. The vessel was built by VARD.
»The world's first all-electric container ship will save 1000 tons of CO2 and eliminate the need for 40,000 delivery trips by diesel-powered trucks per year«, says Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara. The Yara Birkeland will transport mineral fertilizer between Porsgrunn and Brevik. »We hope that this ship will be the first of a new generation of zero-emission container ships. There are enough areas in the world suffering from congested roads that would benefit from a high-tech system like this«, Holsether explains.
Initially, the vessel will undergo a two-year test period during which it will receive its full propulsion system and, at the end, will be certified as an autonomously sailing fully electrified vessel.
The Yara Birkeland has been created as part of a joint project in which Kongsberg is responsible for providing the newly developed technology. The vessel is operated by Mastgerly's Monitoring and Operations Centre in Horten. Massterly is a joint venture of Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen.
»The Yara Birkeland is the result of our long experience and knowledge accumulated in the maritime cluster and industry of Norway. This makes us a global innovation leader in the field of shipping to make it more climate friendly. It also gives us the opportunity to export our technology worldwide«, says Geir Håøy, CEO of Kongsberg Group.
Enova, a government company that aims to drive renewable energy in Norway, has put 133.5 Million Norwegian Kroner into the project to develop the world's first fully electric and autonomous container ship.