Fertiliser giant Yara has decided to pause further development of the world’s first autonomous and zero-emission container vessel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changed global outlook.
Yara and technology company Kongsberg teamed up in 2017 to build the first autonomous and zero-emission container vessel, YARA BIRKELAND. The hull of the vessel was launched onto the sea in Romania in February 2020 (pictured) and is expected to arrive at a Norwegian shipyard this month.
In Norway, she was set to be fitted with various control and navigation systems and undergo testing before delivery to Yara. But the fallout from the global pandemic and the changed global outlook has meant that the project has now been put on hold.
Replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year, YARA BIRKELAND has been designed to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area in Norway.
Yara said that it would assess its next steps for YARA BIRKELAND together with its partners.