zero emission container vessel

Yara Birkeland – the world’s first autonomous zero emission container vessel

To round off this challenging year for the marine industry on a positive note, we introduce the world’s first zero emission container vessel, the much delayed Yara Birkeland. In a further boost for technology she is also designed to operate autonomously, an objective which is scheduled to be realized in 2022.

  • Built by Vard in Romania (hull) and Norway (outfitting)
  • Owned and operated by Yara International
  • LOA 80m
  • Beam 14.8m
  • Deadweight 3,200 MT
  • Capacity 120 TEU
  • Propulsion 2 x azimuth pods and 2 x thrusters
  • Speed maximum 12 knots, optimum 6 knots

Yara Birkeland is propelled by electric motors driving a pair of azimuth pods and a pair of tunnel thrusters. Her batteries which will power the electric motors are rated at 7.0-9.0 MWh. Kongsberg was contracted to oversee the vessel’s development including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems.

The operating plan is to sail the vessel within 12 nautical miles of the coast of Southern Norway under the surveillance of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. In so doing she will offer short sea shipping as an environmentally efficient alternative to movement of goods by road. It has been estimated that up to 40,000 truck trips per year can be replaced.

The vessel is named after her owners, Yara International and the company’s Norwegian founder Mr. Kristian Birkeland.  The project cost was $28m including a subsidy of $15m from the Norwegian government.