Yara is building the world’s first electric and self-propelled Container Ship

Yara Yara, Photo: Norway Today media

Fertiliser giant, Yara, signed a contract with Vard Brevik for NOK 250 million on Wednesday to build the world’s first electric and self-propelled Container Ship.


In the presence of Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H), Yara signed the agreement with the shipbuilding group Vard to build the self-propelled electric ship, Yara Birkeland.

The entire vessel is to be built in Vard Brevik in Porsgrunn, with the exception of the hull, which will be built in Romania.

The agreement is worth NOK 250 million and will be ready for launch early in 2020. The vessel, which has been referred to as ‘Tesla of the seas’ in foreign media, will be self-driving by 2022.

“This is the first time someone is building a ship like Yara Birkeland. We have focused on collaborators with strong entrepreneurial spirit and world-class expertise.Vard has long experience of building custom-made ships and will deliver a vessel that will bring about change,’’ said Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.

1 million kilometres

The background for the project is that Yara annually supplies mineral fertiliser for 1 million kilometres on the distance between Brevik and Larvik to ship the product with container ships.

CEO, Roy Reite of Vard said he is very pleased with the cooperation with Yara.

“With long experience in building custom, tailor made ships, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to build the world’s first self-propelled and electric container ship,” said Reite.

The technology company Kongsberg is also to be involved in the project.

Green jobs

Last year, the government supported the project with 133 million kroner through the state enterprise, Enova, and Solberg said it is important to create green jobs.
“Yara, Kongsberg and Vard have built on knowledge of technology, logistics and shipbuilding.They had an ambition to create sustainable innovation together.

Then we get exciting pioneer projects like this,’’ said the prime minister, who after the signing got a remote control miniature model of the ship.

Annually, Yara Birkeland will replace 40,000 trips with diesel-powered lorries on the local roads between Brevik and Larvik.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today