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The world’s first autonomous and electric container ship is one step closer to launch, with Norwegian agricultural company Yara signing a deal with Vard worth approximately NOK 250 million ($30 million) to build the vessel.
Vard will deliver the 120-TEU Yara Birkeland for launch in early 2020 from its Brevik yard in Norway, and the vessel will gradually move from manned operation to fully autonomous operation by 2022. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.
Norwegian Yacht Voyages states that she will also be the world’s “first true hybrid expedition mega yacht” and that she’ll boast a LOA of 187.5 metres (615 feet). Azzam, currently the largest superyacht in the world, stretches to 180 metres (590 feet).
Deltamarin will be providing its services with carefully chosen architectural partners, working on the technical aspects and documentation of the development.
In a live demonstration of the self-docking system, which can be seen in the video below, a 20.7-metre (68-foot) motor yacht fitted with the technology was able to automatically and safely dock in a compact space between other vessels.
The self-docking system is centred around a joystick-controlled Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS), which is a comprehensive integrated propulsion system. The automated docking procedures are viable thanks to the on-board electronic vessel control system (EVC), which calculates steering power, speeds and the boat’s exact location. It also interacts with four sensors positioned in the berth for maximum accuracy.
As well as being able to safely secure a boat into a berthing space, the automated system can also help it depart with ease.
As the competitive and economic pressure on the shipping and offshore industries continues to grow, owners, operators and yards are searching for every efficiency. To support its customers, DNV GL has developed the first type approval scheme for the use of aluminium cables and connectors onboard vessels.
“This type approval represents another first for the DNV GL rule set and demonstrates our commitment to moving classification forward to help our customers,” says Geir Dugstad, Senior Vice President, Director of Ship Classification & Technical Director at DNV GL – Maritime. “Electrification is playing an increasingly important role in ship propulsion and this new type approval can help to reduce costs and improve sustainability.”