Thursday, May 24, 2018

Zero Emission Autonomous Electric Container Vessel to Carry Fertiliser on Inland Route

Delivery to Sea Ports in Environmentally Friendly Ship to Cut 40,000 Road Haulage Trips
Shipping News Feature
FINLAND – NORWAY – Materials handling group Kalmar and crop nutrition giant Yara have entered into an agreement in which Kalmar will deliver autonomous equipment, software and services for a unique, fully digitalised container handling solution at Yara's Porsgrunn facility in Norway. The deal is intended to ensure all the necessary operations related to the operations of the autonomous and electric container vessel Yara Birkeland will themselves be conducted in a fully automated and cost efficient manner, producing zero emissions. Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara, said:

"With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world's first electric and autonomous container vessel; it is the world's first fully digitalised and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions. Kalmar has the proven equipment and software, and the know-how to integrate their solutions into our supply chain."

Yara, a mineral fertiliser company that claims to help feed more than 300 million people worldwide, last year announced a partnership with technology company Kongsberg to build the world's first fully autonomous, battery operated container vessel.

Use of the Yara Birkeland is intended to reduce emissions and improve road safety by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys annually in a densely populated area of Norway. The vessel will transport fertiliser from Yara's Porsgrunn plant, via inland waterways, to the deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for the Yara Birkeland, as well as automated transportation between the fertiliser production facilities and the quay. The Kalmar solution consists of one Kalmar Automated Rail Mounted Gantry Crane (AutoRMG), three Kalmar FastCharge™ AutoStrads, a FastCharge charging station and related automation and safety systems. The solution will be implemented in phases, with the level of automation gradually increased over time.

The end result, scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2020, will be a fully autonomous, mixed-traffic and zero-emission solution in an industrial environment. Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President, Automation and Projects, Kalmar, commented:

"We are very excited to work with Yara on this unique ground breaking project. The project involves several firsts for us, including the first fully automated RMG for vessel loading, unloading and container storage management. Furthermore, the Kalmar FastCharge AutoStrads will drive along the public roads in the Porsgrunn industrial park, which is also used by normal road traffic. We are working closely with local authorities and other parties to ensure the safety of passengers and vehicles at all times."