Technology

Jul 1, 2017

AUTOMATE, AUTONOMISE

It is planned to start activity at the end of 2018. The idea is to fulfil short distances, connecting three harbours, throughout the south of Oslo fiords, in Norway.

Yara, Norwegian producer of fertilizers has launched the challenge of building a container ship, fully electric propulsion and, to this purpose, announced partnership with Kongsberg, another Norwegian company devoted to the sea, aerospace and armament.

Yara Birkeland was baptized after the name of Yara International's founder, Kristian Birkeland, famous Norwegian scientist.

It still hasn't a defined transport capacity but, judging by the simulated pictures available, it will not be a giant, even because it will travel short distances between the Norwegian fiords south of Oslo.

Yara's objective is to connect the plant in Porsgrunn to the Brevik harbour, only 12 kilometres away; and also to the Larvik harbour, fifty kilometres away. These connections will take place 24 over 24 hours, seven days a week.

This will eliminate more than 40000 annual road trips between highly populated areas; reduce fuel consumption and subsequent CO2 emissions. "Every day, we send to the Norwegian roads more than a hundred diesel trucks. As a leading company in the fertilizers sector, with a mission to feed the world and protect the planet, investing in non-pollutant transportation fits perfectly in the main goals of the company", says Svein Tore Holsether, president of Yara International.

Moreover, Kongsberg is devoted to supply the necessary technology so that the ship can be handled by a reduced crew, with the objective of turning it totally autonomous from 2020 on.

Also loading and downloading operations are being worked and programed in order to ensure that, in 2020, these operations can be totally performed without the human intervention in the process.

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