World’s First Emission-Free Container Ship Completes Its Maiden Voyage

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The world’s first electric and self-propelled container ship – Yara Birkeland – has departed for its maiden voyage in the Oslo fjord, reports Global News Wire.

Emission-free shipping

“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,” Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.

Yara Birkeland, which has already received wide coverage in Norwegian and international media, has been developed in collaboration with the Kongsberg Group (KONGSBERG). The ship was built by VARD with financial support from Enova, and will be in commercial operation from 2022.

“We have been looking forward to this day for a long time. Yara Birkeland will transport mineral fertilizer between Porsgrunn and Brevik and will contribute to significant emission cuts during transport”, says Holsether.

Now begins a two-year testing period of the technology that will make the ship self-propelled, and finally certified as an autonomous, all-electric container ship.

A shared ambition

Yara Birkeland is a collaborative project between several actors, where KONGSBERG is responsible for the development and delivery of all newly developed technology on the ship. The ship will be operated from Massterlys’ monitoring and operations center in Horten. Massterly is a joint venture between KONGSBERG and Wilhelmsen.

“Norway is a big ocean and maritime nation, and other nations look to Norway for green solutions at sea. The project demonstrates how we have developed a world-leading innovation that contributes to the green transition and provides great export opportunities for Norwegian technology and industry”, Geir Håøy, CEO of the Kongsberg Group.

Enova, a government enterprise responsible for promotion of renewable energy, has allocated up to NOK 133.5 million to build the world’s first electric and autonomous container ship.

“On the way to a low-emission society, transport emissions must come down to almost zero. To achieve that, we need projects that can transform the market – projects that have the potential to,” Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova.

Green shipping is the future

In parallel with the construction of Yara Birkeland, Yara has initiated the development of green ammonia as an emission-free fuel for shipping, through the newly started Yara Clean Ammonia.

As the world’s largest producer of fertilizers, Yara relies on ammonia to make fertilizer, and to help feed an ever-growing population. At the same time, current ammonia production represents 2 percent of the world’s fossil energy consumption. This corresponds to about 1.2 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

“As the world’s largest producer of ammonia, Yara has launched an offensive plan of international scale, both to remove current emissions and to establish the production of new, clean ammonia,” says Ankarstrand.

About Yara

Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet. Supporting our vision of a world without hunger and a planet respected, we pursue a strategy of sustainable value growth, promoting climate-friendly crop nutrition and zero-emission energy solutions. Yara’s ambition is focused on growing a climate positive food future that creates value for our customers, shareholders and society at large and delivers a more sustainable food value chain.

Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has established a unique position as the industry’s only global crop nutrition company. We operate an integrated business model with around 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries, with a proven track record of strong returns. In 2020, Yara reported revenues of USD 11.6 billion.

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Source: Global News Wire

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