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Yara Birkeland, the first fully electric and autonomous cargo ship is ready to sail the seas

We heard about this boat in 2017 when it was still a project and now it is finally ready. The Yara Birkeland is ready for her first ride. A trip without a crew on board and without emissions to the environment. Yara Birkeland is the first cargo ship that in addition to being electric is completely autonomous.


Yara International es the Norwegian company behind this boat. It was founded more than 100 years ago and its main mission has always been to fight famine. They created the first nitrogen fertilizer, which to this day remains their main commercial focus. So why ships? Because with their fertilizer products they also seek sustainable agricultural practices. A few years ago they created the Yara Marine Technologies division, focused on combating toxic emissions from ship diesel engines. That’s where Yara Birkeland came from.

We have actually seen some electric boats already, among them the curious Japanese tanker e5. Also megabytes are aimed at it. This however toother than electric seeks to be autonomous. Manufactured by the Norwegian company Yara International, it is now preparing to make a first trip between the Norwegian cities Herøya and Brevik.

No emissions, no crew

The cargo ship Yara Birkeland It has inside a battery of nothing more and nothing less than 7 MWh, with this it powers two 900 kW Azipull electric propellers and two 700 kW tunnel thrusters. The result of this is a top speed of 13 knots. It is not a fast cargo ship, generally these boats reach speeds of 16 to 25 knots.

The cargo capacity of this ship is a total of 120 TEU. According to its creators, they hope it can replace about 40,000 truck trips a year. To do this, it will move along the European coasts transporting loads autonomously.

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Autonomous in quotes, because actually the boat is always monitored by remote controllers to ensure that everything is under control. On the other hand, it does require human intervention when loading and unloading the ship. Be that as it may, a first and important step.

Via | CNN