It is getting ready to travel down Norway’s southern coast in the world’s first fully electric, self-steering container ship, which has owned by the fertilizer business Yara. The Yara Birkeland, an 80-metre-long (87-yard) feeder, will replace vehicle haulage between Yara’s factory in Porsgrunn and its export port in Brevik next year.
It will save 1,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, or 40,000 diesel-powered road journeys. And be fully autonomous in two years. Yara’s goal is to reduce CO2 emissions at its Porsgrunn factory, according to CEO Svein Tore Holsether.
In an interview, he said that now that they have demonstrated that the technology is possible. Moreover he said “I’m confident that there are several routes throughout the world where the same type of ship could be adopted.”
Vard Norway’s Kongsberg offered important technologies for remote and autonomous operations, including sensors and integration. In a statement from the ship’s bridge, Yara’s Jostein Braaten remarked, “This isn’t about changing sailors, it’s about replacing truck drivers.”
The ship will load and unload cargo, recharge its batteries, and sail itself. Braaten said sensors will instantly detect and analyse objects like kayaks in the water. So the ship can avoid hitting them.
He emphasised that the system should be better than the manual system. “We eliminated the human aspect, which is presently the root cause of a large number of incidents,” Braaten continued.
The ship can carry 120 20-foot containers of fertilizer at a time and will make two weekly trips. It has powered by 7 megawatt hours of Swiss Leclanche batteries spread over eight battery rooms, Braaten added.