Kalmar, part of Cargotec, and Yara have entered into an agreement in which Kalmar will deliver fully autonomous equipment, software, and services for the development of the autonomous electric container handling vessel, the Yara Birkeland.
The equipment and software will be delivered to Yara’s Porsgrunn facility in Norway, with delivery expected for completion in the second quarter of 2020.
Tove Andersen, EVP production, Yara, said: “With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world’s first electric and autonomous container vessel; it is the world’s first fully digitalised and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions. Kalmar has the proven equipment and software, and the know-how to integrate their solutions into our supply chain.”
The Yara Birkeland will reduce emissions and improve road safety by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys annually in a densely populated area of Norway. The vessel will transport fertiliser from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant via inland waterways to the deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.
Kalmar will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for Yara Birkeland, as well as transportation between the fertiliser production facilities and the quay.
The Kalmar solution consists of one Kalmar Automated Rail Mounted Gantry Crane (AutoRMG), three Kalmar FastCharge(TM) AutoStrads, a FastCharge charging station and related automation and safety systems. The solution will be implemented in phases, with the level of automation gradually increased over time.
The end result will be a fully autonomous, mixed-traffic and zero-emission solution.
Kalmar will also support Yara’s operations with a full-scale service contract. The Kalmar Care contract includes full maintenance with parts for Kalmar FastCharge(TM) AutoStrads including an availability agreement as well as preventive maintenance for the Kalmar AutoRMG crane. Furthermore, Kalmar personnel will provide operational, automation and software support for the whole solution.
“We are very excited to work with Yara on this unique ground-breaking project. The project involves several firsts for us, including the first fully automated RMG for vessel loading, unloading and container storage management. Furthermore, the Kalmar FastCharge AutoStrads will drive along the public roads in the Porsgrunn industrial park, which is also used by normal road traffic. We are working closely with local authorities and other parties to ensure the safety of passengers and vehicles at all times,” added Tero Kokko, senior vice president, automation and projects, Kalmar.