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The world’s first autonomous and electric boxship has just been ordered

16 Aug 2018

A NOK 250 million (USD $29.7 million) arrangement to construct the world’s first autonomous and electric containership was made on Wednesday between Norwegian chemical company YARA, technology company KONGSBERG and shipyard VARD.

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

VARD will deliver Yara Birkeland for launch in early 2020, and the vessel will gradually move from manned operation to fully autonomous operation by 2022.

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

Replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year, the Yara Birkeland will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area.

“A vessel like Yara Birkeland has never been built before, and we rely on teaming up with partners with an entrepreneurial mindset and cutting edge expertise,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of YARA.

“VARD combines experience in customized ship building with leading innovation, and will deliver a game-changing vessel which will help us lower our emissions, and contribute to feeding the world while protecting the planet.”

Photo credit: Kongsberg Maritime
Published: 16 August, 2018


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