Yara Birkeland Project paused due to Coronavirus
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic and unpredictable market conditions, plans to launch the world's first all-electric, autonomous container vessel Yara Birkeland have been shelved, according to Yara, the Norwegian company behind the project.
In 2017, Yara teamed up with technology firm Kongsberg to develop the zero-emission container vessel designed by Marin Teknikk for the autonomous transport of chemicals and fertilizers along Norway 's coast.
Initially, the vessel was expected to enter service as a manned vessel in 2018, before being transformed into autonomous operations by 2020.
Such deadlines had changed to completion by 2020 and full autonomous operations by 2022, until the project was shelved.
The 80-meter Yara Birkeland hull was launched at Vard Braila in Romania in February 2020 and is expected to arrive at Norway's Vard Brevik shipyard in May where it was scheduled to be fitted with control and navigation systems and to undergo pre-delivery testing.
Yara and Kongsberg members were not immediately available for comment.
The project was funded by NOK 133.6 million ($13 million) from Enova, a Norwegian government-owned company that supports environmentally sustainable energy production and usage.
Maritime Business World