Brunvoll to provide propulsion system for autonomous ship

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 25 February 2019

ShipInsight


Brunvoll has signed a contract with the Kongsberg Group for delivery of propulsion system to Yara Birkeland the prototype autonomous ship being beuilt in Norway.

Brunvoll's delivery consists of two pulling azimuth thrusters of the type PU74, each of 900 kW and Controllable Pitch Propeller with a diameter of 2.2 meters, as well as two tunnel thrusters in the bow, of the type FU63, each 700 kW and 1.75 meters in diameter. Great emphasis has been placed on achieving high efficiency both in the design with large slow-turning propellers and in the hydrodynamic design of the thruster. Power will be provided by an accompanying 6.8 MWh battery pack.

Fertilizer manufacturer Yara and the Kongsberg Group is behind this first autonomous ship of its kind in the world. Yara's goal of the project is to transport fertilizer by sea between its factory at Herøya and the ports of Brevik and Larvik. The vessel will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions by reducing diesel-powered truck transport by around 40,000 journeys per year.

The vessel Yara Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. However, after the ship is delivered and put into service by 2020, over a two-year period it will be tested with a limited number of crew before it becomes fully autonomous.

“We are honored to have won this contract and it is a recognition of our capabilities" said Knut Andresen, Executive Vice President responsible for Product and Business Development at Brunvoll. The contract is a result of the investments Brunvoll is doing in innovation and development.

The Yara Birkeland contract was the second for this type of azimuth propulsion unit developed by the Molde based company. Brunvoll will also supply 10 such azimuth propellers to five ferries for Fjord1 which are currently under construction at Havyard’s Shipyard in Leirvik.

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