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An electric container ship made its maiden voyage

Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

The unmanned cargo ship Yara Birkeland made its maiden voyage in last December. They want to start using the container ship for commercial purposes next year.

In August, the Norwegians announced the first commercial voyage of the Yara Birkeland container ship, which is positioned as an unmanned electric vessel. According to New Atlas, in November he completed his mission.

Yara Birkeland made a short trip from Horten to Oslo with people on board. The vessel is now awaiting certification, followed by commercial operations. “We are proud to be able to showcase the world’s first fully electric and self-propelled container ship,” said Svein Tore Holzeter, CEO of Yara.

Yara International and Kongsberg Maritime agreed to build an innovative vessel in 2017. Today Yara is one of the largest suppliers of mineral fertilizers in the world. Another member, Kongsberg Maritime, is part of the Kongsberg Gruppen, which operates in the defense, aerospace and other industries. As part of the Kongsberg project, Maritime is responsible for integrating sensors and other systems for autonomous navigation.

The vessel will be able to carry up to 3200 tons of cargo. The maximum speed of Yara Birkeland is 15 knots (28 kilometers per hour). The container ship is 80 meters long and 15 meters wide, and has a 6.8 megawatt-hour battery.

The creators claim that their project is distinguished by high environmental friendliness and good economy, due to the lack of a crew.

Initially, the loading and unloading of the vessel will be carried out with the help of workers, but in the future they want to use robots for such operations, including cranes and vehicles. At the same time, the autonomous ships themselves, according to experts, will learn to exchange information, which will make their operation safe.

Russia is also actively working on the creation of autonomous vessels. Not so long ago, the Sredne-Nevsky shipyard launched the Pioneer-M, designed to test unmanned technologies. The hull of the vessel was made of composite materials. Pioneer-M was equipped with an integrated management system and interaction with research centers.

Note that countries such as the United States and China are increasingly developing unmanned warships. One of them was the Seahawk, delivered to the US Navy this year. Earlier, the Naval Forces received its “big brother” – Sea Hunter.

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