Norwegian chemical company Yara has entered into an agreement with cargo handling supplier Kalmar to utilize autonomous equipment, software and services for a fully digitalized container handling solution at Norway’s Porsgrunn quayside.
Last year, Yara announced it had partnered with technology firm Kongsberg to build the world’s first fully autonomous, battery-operated container vessel, the Yara Birkeland. The vessel will transport fertilizer from Yara's Porsgrunn plant via inland waterways to the deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik, a journey of 31 nautical miles.
The partnership with Kalmar now means that all necessary operations related to the ship will be fully autonomous and produce no harmful emissions. Yara Birkeland itself will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys annually.
"With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world's first electric, autonomous container vessel; it is the world's first fully digitalized and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions,” says said Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara. “Kalmar has the proven equipment and software, and the know-how to integrate their solutions into our supply chain.”
Kalmar will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for Yara Birkeland, as well as transportation between fertilizer production facilities and the quay. The solution will be implemented in stages, with the level of automation gradually increasing over time.