Published 2018-08-16 00:00:00
VARD to build YARA BIRKELAND
Published by
Vard Group AS
VARD announce that it has secured a contract for the building of one autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for YARA in Norway.

The contract value is approximately NOK 250 million.
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. After delivery, the vessel will gradually move from manned operations to fully autonomous operations by 2022.
The vessel 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 (twenty-foot equivalent unit), replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year. Yara Birkeland will reduce nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) and carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions, and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area.
Mr. Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of VARD, commented: “We are honored to be chosen as YARA’s partner in this innovative and exciting project. With a longstanding experience in building state-of-the-art and tailor-made specialized vessels, we are excited to be given the opportunity to build the world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel. It is a pleasure to welcome YARA and KONGSBERG to VARD, and we look forward to working closely with all parties involved.”
Mr. Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of YARA, said: “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. VARD combines experience in customized ship building with leading innovation, and will deliver a game-changing vessel which will help us lower our emissions, and contribute to feeding the world while protecting the planet.”

The vessel is scheduled for delivery from Vard Brevik in Norway in Q1 2020. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.
The vessel is designed by Marin Teknikk, in close cooperation with YARA and other involved partners. KONGSBERG is responsible for the enabling technologies onboard, including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations.
The project was initiated in an effort to improve the logistics at YARA’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant. Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from YARA in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik, where the company ships products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel, YARA progresses from road freight to sea freight, thereby reducing noise and dust emissions, improving local road safety, and reducing NOx and CO2 emissions.

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