The first electric-powered autonomous container ship to be launched in 2018


A Norwegian company named Yara has teamed up with maritime technology company Kongsberg to build the first all-electric autonomous container ship.

The launch is set for 2018. The new ship, named Yara Birkeland, will carry chemicals and fertilizer from Yara's plant in Norway. First, the ship will operate as a manned vessel, but from 2019 will be operated remote and will become fully autonomous from 2020.

“As a leading global fertilizer company with a mission to feed the world and protect the planet, investing in this zero emission vessel to transport our crop nutrition solutions fits our strategy well. We are proud to work with Kongsberg to realize the world’s first autonomous, all-electric vessel to enter commercial operation,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.

The ship will be 70m long and will have a capacity of 100-150 TEU. Service speed will be 6 knots, with a top speed of 10 knots. The vessel will operate within 12 nautical miles form the coast, between three ports in Norway: Herøya, Brevik and Larvik.