Maritime transport at cargo level has taken a giant step towards sustainability through the Yara Birkeland, a 100% electric transport vessel which has already sailed to Norwegian waters, being developed by the firm Yara with all the necessary functions, high technology and demands required to carry out its functions.
The mega structure has all the navigation and maneuvering capabilities totally autonomous, therefore, it has been catalogued as a pioneering advance on the sector. The first incursion into European icy waters took place on November 18 with a voyage from the port of Horten to Oslo harbor.
There, it will carry out the rest of the work necessary to become officially operational. At the moment, autonomous driving options are not available, as the project team is still working on it, which is why a crew on board the Yara Birkeland is necessary, although it will not be required at a later date.
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This sustainable cargo vessel has the capacity to carry up to 120 containers of six meters each. A large 7 MWh battery located on the lower hull area is responsible for moving the ship with 80-meter length, 15-meter dagger, 6.3-meter draft and weight of 3,200 tons.
The power units that drive the Yara Birkeland are two 900 kW Azipull engines combined with two other 700 kW tunnel blocks each, raising the total performance to 3,200 kW to develop a top speed of 13 knots (24 km/h).
Thanks to the upcoming operational start-up of this vessel, the development company expects to eliminate 40,000 diesel-powered truck trips per year from the road, which will undoubtedly represent a major emissions reduction.
“We are proud to be able to showcase the world’s first all-electric, self-propelled container ship. It will reduce 1,000 tons of CO2…. We have been waiting for this day for a long time. Yara Birkeland will transport mineral fertilizers between Porsgrunn and Brevik and will contribute to significantly reduce emissions during transport,” said Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.
About Yara International
Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has established a unique position as the industry’s only global crop nutrition company. Operating an integrated business model with around 17,000 employees and reach in more than 60 countries, with a proven track record of strong returns. In 2020, Yara recorded revenues of USD 11.6 billion.
Through its focus on clean ammonia production, Yara’s goal is to enable the hydrogen economy, driving a green transition of shipping, fertilizer production and other energy-intensive industries.
Written by | Ronald Ortega