Meet the world’s first electric autonomous container ship.
Firstly, Fincantieri’s Vard division has delivered the zero-emissions container vessel, Yara Birkeland, to her owner, fertilizer manufacturer Yara International. Secondly, The 120 TEU Yara Birkeland is the world’s first battery-electric container feeder for commercial use. Also, the project partners’ ultimate goal is to operate her as an autonomous vessel.
World’s first electric autonomous container ship.
Above all, The vessel YARA Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. By and large, KONGSBERG is responsible for developing and delivering key enabling technologies. Also, including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous ship operations. In addition to the electric drive, battery, and propulsion control systems.
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By and large, Yara advised that, at this moment, their priority is for Yara Birkeland to begin operating with zero-emission transport of containers. The new port construction inside the factory at Heroya is completed with only the delivery and commissioning of the port crane remaining.
Above all, Once this is completed in the autumn, the plan is for the Yara Birkeland to start operations and transport approximately 40-60% of Yara’s container volume by the end of this year.
In a word, Work is also ongoing to prepare the Yara Birkeland for the first phase of sailing with reduced manning. Once that has been achieved, they will develop the ship to reach the desired level of unscrewed operation during the next two years.
Yara Birkeland specs
Yara provides Birkeland’s specifications (and I’ve provided some explanations in italics for landlubbers):
|Main particulars||Length overall (LOA): 80 m|
Beam (width): 15 m
|Depth: 12 m||Draft (full): 6.3 m (Draft is the distance between the waterline and the deepest point of the ship)|
Eco speed: 6-7 knots
Max speed: 13 knots
|Capacity||Cargo capacity: 120 TEU (TEU is an abbreviation for 20-foot equivalent unit, an inexact unit of cargo capacity)|
Deadweight: 3,200 mt (The deadweight is the difference between the displacement and the mass of empty vessel [lightweight] at any given draft. It is a measure of a ship’s ability to carry various items)
|Propulsion||Azipull pods: 2 x 900 kW|
Tunnel thrusters: 2 x 700 kW (provide side force to the ship)
|Batteries||Capacity 7 MWh (that’s equivalent to around 100 Tesla Model 3s)|
|Connectivity and communication||Maritime Broadband Radio|
Kongsberg Maritime explains:
Loading and discharging will be done automatically using electric cranes and equipment. The ship will not have ballast tanks but will use the battery pack as permanent ballast.
On the other hand, The ship will also be equipped with an automatic mooring system – berthing and underthings will be done without human intervention and will not require special implementations dock-side.
To ensure safety, three centers with different operational profiles are planned to handle all aspects of the operation.
The Bottom Line
Above all, For the project’s first phase, a detachable bridge with equipment for maneuvering and navigation has installed. Secondly, In the future, when the ship is ready for autonomous operation, it will lift off this module.
Above all, In commercial deployment, the vessel will transport fertilizer from Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant to the deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik. In a word, A journey of about 30 nautical miles. According to Yara and project partner Kongsberg.
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By and large, The vessel’s operations will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions by reducing diesel-powered truck transport by around 40,000 journeys per year. In summary, This will reduce road congestion as well as the operation’s environmental footprint.