Brunvoll to deliver propulsion systems for zero emissions, zero crew Yara Birkeland

Written by Nick Blenkey
Yara Birkeland

Molde, Norway, based Brunvoll AS has signed a contract with the Kongsberg Group covering delivery of propulsion systems for Yara Birkeland, the world’s first fully electric and autonomous containership.

Brunvoll’s delivery includes two pulling azimuth propellers for propulsion and two tunnel thrusters for maneuvering, all of which will draw power from a 6.8 MWh battery pack.

Vard’s Brevik, Norway, shipyard has been selected to build the zero-emission, zero crew vessel, using a hull built at Vard’s Braila, Romania, yard. The vessel will be used by fertilizer manufacturer Yara to transport fertilizer by sea between its factory at Herøya, Norway. and the ports of Brevik and Larvik.

With a length of 80 meters and a beam of 15 meters, the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 120 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). Replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year, Yara Birkeland will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions, and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area.

The vessel will gradually transition from manned to fully autonomous operation by 2022.

Brunvoll’s delivery consists of two 900 kW type PU74 pulling azimuth thrusters with 2.2 m diameter controllable pitch propellers with a diameter of 2.2 meters, as well as two 1.75 m diameter, 700 kW, type FU63 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.

The Yara Birkeland contract is Brunvoll’s second for this type of azimuth propulsion unit. It will also supply ten for five ferries for Fjord1 which are currently under construction at Havyard’s Shipyard in Leirvik.

Brunvoll also offers larger azimuth units with diameters up to 3.3 meters and a power of up to 3,200 kW for main propulsion.

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