The world’s first zero-emission, autonomous container feeder from Kongsberg and YARA will result in 40,000 fewer diesel-powered truck journeys per year.

In the container shipping world, many of the behemoth ships are fed by smaller feeders that move cargo from port to port by land and sea, often with heavily-polluting diesel emissions. The YARA Birkeland is a zero-emission, fully electric and autonomous solution to that problem. With a 7 to 9 MWh battery powering propulsion, the ship can carry up to 120 shipping containers at any one time. The vessel will cost $25 million, triple that of a conventional equivalent but, without the need for fuel or crew, it promises to cut annual operating costs by up to 90%. By taking trucks off the road, it will also contributes to safer, less-congested roads.

This solution was featured in Sustainable Shipping market of the 2018 Global Opportunity Report, and was selected based on the criteria of that report. 

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and well-being
Autonomous, electric near shore shipping eliminates harmful NOx and SOx emissions to the air, reducing the risk of respiratory diseases.

Life below water
The discharge of ballast water can damage marine life. No such problem for the YARA Birkeland, which uses the batteries for ballast instead.

Partnerships for the goals
YARA has partnered up with Kongsberg to find a sustainable alternative to more than 40,000 diesel-powered truck journeys per year.

About Kongsberg

Kongsberg is an international technology group that delivers solutions improving safety, security and performance in complex operations and under extreme conditions. Kongsberg works in global defence, maritime, oil and gas, fisheries and aerospace sectors.

About YARA

Yara provides crop nutrition products, solutions and knowledge to 20 million farmers worldwide, who produce enough food to feed 240 million people.

Purchase product

Kongsberg, YARA
View profile


Global Goals addressed

Deployed in: Norway
Developed in: Norway
Stage: Full implementation