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Yara Birkeland model tests begin at Sintef

Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017

Kongsberg and Yara, an Oslo-listed chemicals business formerly known as Norsk Hydro, have begun joint model tests of a fully electric container vessel, Yara Birkeland, at Sintef’s 80m test tank facility in Trondheim.

Yara Birkeland’s model testing has commenced at SINTEF Ocean’s test tank facility in Trondheim

The six-metre model mirrors the final design of the world’s first autonomous fully electric container ship. Its model tests come soon after the Norwegian Government’s environmental energy agency, ENOVA, announced a substantial grant for the project, worth NOK 133 million.    
The Yara Birkeland, named after Yara’s founder Kristian Birkeland, will ship fertilisers from Yara’s Porsgrunn fertiliser plant in southern Norway to the ports of Brevik and Larvik. Due to be delivered in 2019, the vessel is scheduled to begin fully autonomous operation in 2020.
The model undergoing tests at Sintef has been designed by Marin Teknikk and incorporates a fully working thruster system supplied by Kongsberg. Construction of the full-scale vessel has not yet begun and a decision on where it will be built is expected before the end of the year.
“Initial tests of the model were successful,” said Geir Håøy, president and CEO of Kongsberg. “The testing at Sintef Ocean marks an important milestone in the development. Yara Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals, and will be a global milestone for seaborne transportation.”