Kalmar, Yara Team Up on World’s 1st Fully-Digitalized Cargo Solution for Yara Birkeland

Kalmar and Yara have entered into an agreement in which Kalmar will deliver fully autonomous equipment, software and services for a fully digitalized container handling solution at Yara’s Porsgrunn facility in Norway.

This means that all the necessary operations related to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel Yara Birkeland will be conducted in a fully autonomous and cost-efficient manner, with zero emissions, as explained by the two companies.

The delivery is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter of 2020.

“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,” Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara, commented.

Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara last year announced a partnership with technology company Kongsberg to build the world’s first fully autonomous, battery operated container vessel.

Yara Birkeland is expected to 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 deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for Yara Birkeland, as well as transportation between the fertilizer production facilities and the quay. 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, according to the duo.

Kalmar will also support Yara’s operations with a full-scale service contract. Furthermore, Kalmar personnel will provide operational, automation and software support for the whole solution.

“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,” Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President, Automation and Projects, Kalmar, said.

Image Courtesy: Yara/Kalmar

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