Yara debuts world’s first autonomous electric container ship

The world’s first electric and self-propelled container ship has set off for its maiden voyage in the Oslo fjord in Norway.

The Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy Bjørnar Skjæran were given a tour of the Yara Birkeland by the CEO of Yara, Svein Tore Holsether.

Holsether said: “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.”

Yara Birkeland has been developed in collaboration with the Kongsberg Group. The ship was built by VARD with financial support from Enova, Norway’s fund for climate and energy technologies, and will begin commercial operation in 2022.

The vessel will now undergo two years of testing.

As part of the Yara Birkeland project, Kongsberg is responsible for the development and delivery of all newly developed technology on the ship.

The ship will be operated from Maasterlys’ monitoring and operations centre in Horten. Massterly is a joint venture between Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen.