Vard to Build Autonomous Boxship for YARA

Yara Birkeland modelImage Courtesy: Ole Martin Wold/Yara International

Builder of specialized vessels Vard Holdings Limited has secured a contract to construct an autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for Norwegian chemical company YARA.

The world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel, to be named Yara Birkeland, will be delivered from Vard in Brevik in early 2020. The shipbuilder informed that the contract value is around NOK 250 million (USD 29.5 million).

After delivery, the vessel will gradually move from manned operations to fully autonomous operations by 2022. It will operate in Norway, in a cargo transit between Yara’s plant in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik.

With a length of 80 meters and a beam of 15 meters, the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 120 TEU, replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year. Yara Birkeland will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“A vessel like Yara Birkeland has never been built before, and we rely on teaming up with partners with an entrepreneurial mindset and cutting edge expertise,” Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara, said.

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