World’s First Autonomous, Fully Electric Cargo Ship Is Ready to Make Its First Voyage

By: | August 27th, 2021

Image courtesy: Yara

Shipping is vital to the global economy. More than 90 percent of global trade is seaborne. Every year, some 90,000 cargo ships crisscross the world’s oceans.

But the entire shipping industry produces carbon emissions. According to the International Maritime Organization, it accounts for about 2.2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

To transform the highly polluting shipping industry, a Norwegian company has created the world’s first zero-emission cargo ship.

Developed by chemical company Yara International, the Yara Birkeland electric cargo ship is fully autonomous. There will be no crew onboard the cargo ship, it will be closely monitored from three control centers onshore.

This fully electric cargo ship will replace 40,000 truck trips a year

It will not only battle the carbon and nitrous oxide emissions but will also lower the cost of operation while transporting goods.

Yara Birkeland features a massive 7MWh battery, powering two 900 kW Azipull pods, as well as two 700 kW tunnel thrusters. Capable of delivering a top speed of 13 knots (15mph), it can carry up to 103 standard shipping containers.

The Yara Birkeland’s maiden commercial voyage will take place between two Norwegian towns (Herøya to Brevik) later this year.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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