Autonomous Port Operations to Support Yara Birkeland

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Autonomous Port Operations to Support Yara Birkeland


Category: Chemicals / Metals

Kalmar will deliver autonomous equipment, software and services for a unique, fully digitalized container handling solution at the Porsgrunn quayside in Norway for fertilizer company and shipowner Yara.

This will mean that all the necessary operations related to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel Yara Birkeland will be conducted in a fully autonomous manner, with zero emissions.

Yara Birkeland is expected to conduct fully autonomous operations in 2020. The vessel is a collaboration between Norwegian agricultural company Yara and Kongsberg, DNV GL, Marin Teknikk, SINTEF Ocean and Norwegian maritime authorities. Kongsberg is responsible for the development and delivery of all key enabling technologies including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations.

Yara Birkeland will 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 fertilizer from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant via inland waterways to the deepsea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.

Kalmar will provide the autonomous loading and unloading system for Yara Birkeland, as well as transportation between the fertilizer production facilities and the quay. The system will be implemented in phases, with the level of automation gradually increasing over time.

The project involves several firsts for Kalmar including the first fully automated rail mounted gantry crane 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.

Source: Maritime Executive