MV Yara Birkeland is an autonomous 120 TEU container ship. At the time of project initiation, the Yara Birkeland project was designed to create the first fully autonomous logistics concept in the world (from industrial site operations, port operations and vessel operations). In 2019, the Yara Birkeland was a finalist in the competition for the annual Nor-ShippingNext Generation Ship award.
- 6 knots (11 km/h) service
- 12 knots (22 km/h) maximum
Yara Birkeland will be 80 metres (260 ft) long, with a beam of 14.8 metres (49 ft) and a depth of 12 metres (39 ft). It will have a draught of 6 metres (20 ft). It will be propelled by electric motors driving two azimuth pods and two tunnel thrusters. Batteries rated at 7.0-9.0 MWh will power the electric motors, giving it an energy optimal speed of 6 knots (11 km/h) and a maximum speed of 10 knots (19 km/h). It will have a capacity of 120 TEU. The Norwegian Government gave a grant of NOK133.6 million towards the construction of the ship, about a third of the total cost, in September 2017.
Yara Birkeland is named after its owners Yara International and its founder, Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland. Costing $25million, It will be designed by Marin Teknikk, with navigation equipment by Kongsberg Maritime.Yara Birkeland will sail between Herøya and Brevik (~7 nautical miles (13 km)). carrying chemicals and fertiliser. In late November, 2021, the ship sailed to Oslo, where it was toured by the Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, on Friday, November 19, 2021. As of August 2021, remote operation was intended to start in late 2021, though regulatory obstacles may still remain ahead of its intended start of commercial operations in 2022.