Thursday, June 6, 2019

Shipping: The Future of Inland Shipping May Be Yara's Autonomous Electric 'Birkeland'

From FreightWaves:

Revolution for inland shipping depends on the success of the Yara Birkeland
Autonomous shipping, that is ships that operate with little or no crew, are expected to be introduced in coastal waters where regional authorities, rather than the International Maritime Organization (IMO) hold sway. One of the first commercial vessels, the Yara Birkeland, is set to enter service next year.

Yara Birkeland is currently under construction in the Vard Brevik yard in Norway, following the construction of the hull at Vard’s hull yard in Romania. The vessel will be the first commercial ship to be operated fully automatically.

Yara itself is an agricultural products manufacturer, with one of their factories based in Porsgrunn in Norway, less than 10 miles from where the vessel itself will be completed. Yara Executive Vice President, Peter Due, told FreightWaves, “Sea trials of the Yara Birkeland are due to begin in the second quarter of 2020 and the first operations are due to take place in the third quarter, but the ship will initially be operated manually.”

Due said that the ship is really pushing the boundaries of innovation combining new technologies with zero emissions technology. However, “Yara Birkeland is not just a ship,” explained Due, “it’s a fully autonomous, zero emission, logistics solution that starts within the factory.”

Electric straddle carriers that lift containers automatically within the factory also then transport the boxes to the quayside, where an electric crane will load the vessel with its cargo. The vessel itself is fully electric and will travel on a circular route from Porsgrunn to Brevik and Larvik delivering cargo for onward transportation.

The whole operation will replace the 40,000 truck journeys undertaken from factory to ports every year, explains Due.

“We are the first mover so the costs of the project are considerably higher than will be the case for those coming after us, we have had to build into the project an extreme amount of redundancy with automated straddle carriers operating in a mixed traffic environment that includes other cars and pedestrians, but in the future that redundancy will be considerably less,” said Due....MORE
Shipping: He May Not Have Received His Nobel Prizes But The World's First Fully Electric Autonomous Container Ship Will Be Called the Birkeland
"Norway Takes Lead in Race to Build Autonomous Cargo Ships"
Norwegian Government to Chip In $17 Million to Develop the First Electric Autonomous Cargo Ship
"Shipbuilding Contract Signed for Unmanned, Zero-Emission Container Ship ‘Yara Birkeland’"

And many more on Professor Birkeland, Yara, autonomous ships etc. Use the search blog box if interested.
And some of the competition for ships:
Infrastructure: "Norway’s $47 Billion Coastal Highway"
.....With many of the fjords along the route being too wide or too deep for conventional infrastructure to cross, innovative new solutions are being investigated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Rogfast is the first in a series of crossings that will link the E39, connecting Stavanger and Haugesund via a 27 kilometre, 16 mile under sea tunnel.
Above: Rogfast will be the longest undersea road tunnel in the world
(image courtesy of the Norwegian Public Road Administration, Norconsult A/S and Baezeni Co., Ltd). 
This structure will reach depths of up to 390 metres below sea level, making it the deepest as well as the longest undersea road tunnel in the world.

The Rogfast project will in fact consist of two tunnels connected every 250 metres with emergency exits. Each tunnel will have a lay-by at 500 metre intervals, along with telephone and surveillance cameras along the route......MUCH MORE