In a few years’ time, all these loads will be transferred to an autonomous ship: A battery driven container vessel, the Yara Birkeland. This is good news for all those concerned about local noise and air pollution. Unmanned vessels can be built entirely differently from current ships, and can be integrated into new transport systems that will be safer, more energy-efficient, and less expensive than today’s.
Each year, 40 000 diesel-fuelled lorries pass through the gates of Yara’s fertiliser manufacturing plant in Porsgrunn, Norway. But not for long.