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World’s first zero emissions autonomous boxship readies to enter service

The world’s first fully emission free autonomous container vessel, Yara Birkeland, has completed its maiden voyage in the Oslo fjord, following its delivery to Norwegian ammonia and fertilizer manufacturer Yara International in November last year. After departing Horten on Thursday morning, the vessel arrived in Oslo in the early evening for partners to experience the ship first-hand.

The Yara Birkeland has been developed in collaboration with Kongsberg and built by Vard with NOK133.5m ($15.2m) support from the Norwegian government through Enova. The vessel will be in commercial operation from 2022, transporting mineral fertilizer between Porsgrunn and Brevik. It will be operated from Massterlys’ monitoring and operations center in Horten, a joint venture between Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen.

“We are proud to be able to showcase the world’s first fully electric and self-propelled container ship. It will cut 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replace 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks a year,” said Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.

A two-year testing period of the technology will now commence that will make the ship self-propelled and finally certified as an autonomous, all-electric containership.

“This is an excellent example of green transition in practice, and we hope this ship will be the start of a new type of emission-free container ships. There are a lot of places in the world with congested roads that will benefit from a high-tech solution like this,” added Holsether.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a backgroud in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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