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Yara and Kalmar to develop cargo solution for Yara Birkeland

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World Fertilizer,

Yara has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Kalmar, in which Kalmar will deliver autonomous equipment, software and services for a unique, fully digitalised container handling solution at the Porsgrunn quayside in Norway.

This means that all of the necessary operations related to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel Yara Birkeland will be conducted in a fully autonomous and cost-efficient manner, with zero emissions.

Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara, said: “With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world's first electric, 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.”

In 2017, Yara announced that it had entered into a partnership with Kongsberg to construct the world's first fully autonomous, battery operated container vessel.

Yara Birkeland will reduce emissions and improve road safety by removing up to 40 000 truck journeys per year in a heavily populated region of Norway. The vessel will transport fertilizer from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant 31 nautical miles via inland waterways to the deep-sea ports of Larvik and Brevik.

Kalmar will provide the autonomous loading and unloading solution for the vessel, as well as transportation between the fertilizer production facilities and the quay. In the statement, Yara claims that the solution will be implemented in phases, with the level of automation gradually increasing over time.

Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President, Automation and Projects, Kalmar, said: “We are very excited to work with Yara on this unique groundbreaking project. The project involves several firsts for us, including the first fully automated rail mounted gantry crane 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 safety at all times.”

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