Construction

World’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel

Vard Braila shipyard to build the hull

Vard Holdings Limited, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, announced that it has secured a contract for the building of one autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for Yara in Norway. The contract value is approximately NOK 250 million.

The world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel, to be named Yara Birkeland, will be delivered from Vard in Brevik in early 2020. After delivery, the vessel will gradually move from manned operations to fully autonomous operations by 2022.

The vessel will operate in Norway, in a cargo transit between Yara’s plant in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik. With a length of 80 meters and a beam of 15 meters, the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 120 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year. Yara Birkeland will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area.

“We are honored to be chosen as Yara’s partner in this innovative and exciting project. With a longstanding experience in building state-of-the-art and tailor-made specialized vessels, we are excited to be given the opportunity to build the world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel. It is a pleasure to welcome Yara and Kongsberg to Vard, and we look forward to working closely with all parties involved,” Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of Vard, commented.

A vessel like Yara Birkeland has never been built before, and we rely on teaming up with partners with an entrepreneurial mindset and cutting-edge expertise. Vard combines experience in customized ship building with leading innovation, and will deliver a game-changing vessel which will help us lower our emissions, and contribute to feeding the world while protecting the planet,” Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara, added.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery from Vard Brevik in Norway in Q1 2020. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.

The vessel is designed by Marin Teknikk, in close cooperation with Yara and other involved partners. Kongsberg is responsible for the enabling technologies onboard, including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations.

The project was initiated in an effort to improve the logistics at Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant. Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik, where the company ships products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel, Yara progresses from road freight to sea freight, thereby reducing noise and dust emissions, improving local road safety, and reducing NOx and CO2 emissions.

Yara was founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe. The company’s crop nutrition solutions and precision farming offerings allow farmers to increase yields and improve product quality while reducing environmental impact. YARA’s environmental and industrial solutions aim to improve air quality and reduce emissions, and are key ingredients in the production of a wide range of products. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has a worldwide presence with more than 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries.

 

Vard Tulcea shipyard to build hulls for 3 Norwegian coast guard vessels

Last month, Vard also announced a new contract for the construction of three coast guard vessels for the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) in Norway. The value of the contract exceeds NOK 5 billion.

The Norwegian Government had originally announced plans for the construction of three new coast guard vessels in September 2016. Following review of offers from three competing yards, Vard Langsten was selected to continue negotiations in October 2017. The investments were approved by the Norwegian Parliament in the beginning of June 2018, and the final negotiations have been completed and finalized in the following weeks.

The purpose of the new series of vessels is to replace the Nordkapp-class coast guard vessels. The new tailor-made vessels are developed for worldwide operations in all weather and sea conditions, both inshore and offshore. Specially designed to withstand operations in demanding arctic areas, the new coast guard vessels will have ice-strengthened hull and ice-class notation, and will be built according to the latest requirements for such specialized vessels. With a length of 136 meters and a beam of 22 meters, the vessels feature strong ocean-going capacities for long-distance transits, search-and-rescue operations, surveillance, and oil recovery.

Vard has based its offer on the reference design developed by LMG Marin on behalf of NDMA. Vard has, in cooperation with LMG Marin, further developed the concept design in order to ensure that all requirements and needs demanded by NDMA are solved with a high focus on sustainability, life cycle cost and reliability.

Our longstanding experience in the design and shipbuilding of highly specialized vessels has been of vital importance in the competition and development of this project. Our strength lies in recognizing and understanding the customer’s and the market’s needs, and introducing innovative solutions based on the vessel’s objective, services, operative window and geographical scope. We have worked hard to achieve this contract and are excited to be awarded,” Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of Vard, stated.

“Due to national security interests, the Norwegian Government decided that the competition should be restricted to Norwegian yards only. Vard Group with its Vard Langsten yard was the provider that overall satisfied the defined requirements for solution and the Navy and the Coast Guard’s needs in the best manner,” Mette Sørfonden, Director General of NDMA, explained.

“It is a pleasure to cooperate with NDMA’s team again. We have previously built several unique and state-of-the-art vessels together, and we look forward to building the Norwegian Coast Guard’s new flagships,” Roy Reite added.

VARD-Tulcea
VARD Tulcea shipyard | Credit: VARD

Deliveries of the three vessels are scheduled from Vard Langsten in Norway in 1Q 2022, 1Q 2023 and 1Q 2024 respectively. The hulls will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania.

Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA)/Forsvarsmateriell (FMA) is an agency directly subordinate to the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence. The main task is to continuously develop and modernize the Norwegian Armed forces.

Vard is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels. Headquartered in Norway and with approximately 9,000 employees, it operates nine strategically located shipbuilding facilities, including five in Norway, two in Romania (Tulcea and Braila), one in Brazil and one in Vietnam.

In April, Vard said that it would build the hull of a EUR 170 million cable laying vessel for Italy’s Prysmian Group in its Tulcea shipyard.

Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and innovation. It is leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry’s sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega-yachts, ship repairs and conversions, systems and components production and after-sales services.

Headquartered in Trieste (Italy), the Group has built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of maritime history. With more than 19,500 employees, of whom more than 8,300 in Italy, 20 shipyards in 4 continents, today Fincantieri is the leading Western shipbuilder. It has among its clients the major cruise operators, the Italian and the U.S. Navy, in addition to several foreign navies, and it is partner of some of the main European defence companies within supranational programmes.

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