Zero sourced and, soon, zero originating crew: The world’s first fully electric autonomous cargo ship has been unveiled in Norway, a small but promising step towards reducing the climate footprint of the marine industry.
By shipping up to 120 containers of fertilizer from a plant in the south-eastern town of Porsgrunn to the port of Breivik a dozen kilometers (about eight miles) away, the much-delayed Yarra Birkeland, shown to the media on Friday, will eliminate the need for about 40,000 per year Truck journeys that now run on polluting diesel.
“Of course, there have been difficulties and setbacks,” said Svein Tore Holsthor, chief executive of Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara.
“But it feels even more rewarding to stand in front of this ship today and see that we were able to do it,” he said alongside the blue-and-white ship at the Oslo dock, where it set sail for sea. Events.
The 80-meter, 3,200-deadweight tonne ship will soon begin two years of operational trials during which it will be fine-tuned to learn to maneuver on its own.
The wheelhouse could disappear entirely in “three, four or five years,” Holsther said, once the vessel travels the 7.5-nautical miles with the aid of sensors.
“A lot of incidents on ships are due to human error, for example, due to fatigue,” said project manager Jostein Braaten from the possibly doomed bridge.
“Autonomous operations can enable a safer journey.
The distance that Yara Birkeland has to cover may be short, but she will have to face many obstacles.
It must navigate a narrow fjord and go under two bridges, managing currents and heavy traffic from merchant ships, pleasure craft, and kayaks, before docking in one of Norway’s busiest ports.
The next few months will be a period of learning.
We have to find out that there is something” First, We have to recognize that it is a kayak, then we have to determine what to do with it,” Bratton said.
Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr visits Birkeland’s power array—the equivalent of 100 Teslas.
“Currently, large ships don’t do much with kayaks. They can’t do much. They can sound a warning, but they can’t maneuver” or back off to avoid an incident.
Autonomous navigation would require new rules that don’t yet exist.
On board the Yarra Birkeland, the traditional machine room has been replaced with eight battery compartments, giving the ship a capacity of 6.8 MWh from renewable hydroelectric power.
“That’s equal to 100 Tesla,” Brayton says.
The marine sector, which accounts for around three percent of all man-made emissions, aims to reduce its emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050.
Despite this, recent years have seen growth in this sector.
International and domestic shipping and fishing industries emitted more than a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018, up from 962 million tonnes in 2012, according to the latest data from the International Maritime Organization.
In itself, Yarra Birkeland’s contribution to global climate efforts would be just a drop in the ocean—the 678 tons of carbon dioxide churned out by unnecessary trucks per year.
And experts don’t expect electric cookware to become a universal solution for the industry anytime soon.
“Lightning has a ‘niche’ use, particularly for jetties as these are often short and permanent ruts, possibly with riverbeds and bends.” Boston Consulting Group.
[A ship] would need to be autonomous for long distances, but you would also need to equip the ports with battery chargers. So there are technical and infrastructure challenges, which will need to be coordinated.”
While dozens of electric ferries already ply the fjords of Norway – a major oil and gas producer that is also paradoxically a leader in electric transport – ocean liners To go green like LNG, e-methanol and hydrogen other technologies will have to be relied upon.