Equipment manufacturer Kalmar, part of Cargotec, and Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara have entered into an agreement in which Kalmar will deliver fully autonomous equipment, software and services for a unique, fully digitalised container handling solution at Yara’s Porsgrunn terminal facility in Norway. Yara has teamed with Kongsberg to build the world’s first autonomous, zero emissions, electric feeder boxship, the Yara Birkeland, due for delivery next year.
“With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world’s first electric and autonomous container vessel; it is the world’s first fully digitalised and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions,” said Tove Andersen, EVP production, Yara.
Yara Birkeland will reduce emissions and improve road safety by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys annually in a densely populated area of Norway. The vessel will transport fertilizer from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant via inland waterways to the deepsea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.
Kalmar will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for Yara Birkeland, as well as transportation between the fertilizer production facilities and the quay. The Kalmar solution consists of one Kalmar Automated Rail Mounted Gantry Crane (AutoRMG), three Kalmar FastCharge AutoStrads, a FastCharge charging station and related automation and safety systems.
The solution will be implemented in phases, with the level of automation gradually increased over time. The end result will be a fully autonomous, mixed-traffic and zero-emission solution in an industrial environment.
“We are very excited to work with Yara on this unique groundbreaking project. The project involves several firsts for us, including the first fully automated RMG for vessel loading, unloading and container storage management. Furthermore, the Kalmar FastCharge AutoStrads will drive along the public roads in the Porsgrunn industrial park, which is also used by normal road traffic. We are working closely with local authorities and other parties to ensure the safety of passengers and vehicles at all times,” said Tero Kokko, senior vice president, automation and projects, Kalmar.