VARD secures contract for one autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for YARA
Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD” or the “Company”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, is pleased to announce that it has secured a contract for the building of one autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for YARA in Norway. The contract value is approximately NOK 250 million, the shipbuilding company said in a press release.
The world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel, to be named Yara Birkeland, will be delivered from VARD in Brevik in early 2020. After delivery, the vessel will gradually move from manned operations to fully autonomous operations by 2022. The vessel will operate in Norway, in a cargo transit between YARA’s plant in Porsgrunn to ports in 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 unit), replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year. Yara Birkeland will reduce nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) and carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions, and improve road safety in a densely populated urban area.
Mr. Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of VARD, commented: “We are honored to be chosen as YARA’s partner in this innovative and exciting project. With a longstanding experience in building state-of-the-art and tailor-made specialized vessels, we are excited to be given the opportunity to build the world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel. It is a pleasure to welcome YARA and KONGSBERG to VARD, and we look forward to working closely with all parties involved.”
Mr. Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of YARA, said: “A vessel like Yara Birkeland has never been built before, and we rely on teaming up with partners with an entrepreneurial mindset and cutting edge expertise. VARD combines experience in customized ship building with leading innovation, and will deliver a game-changing vessel which will help us lower our emissions, and contribute to feeding the world while protecting the planet.”
The vessel is scheduled for delivery from Vard Brevik in Norway in Q1 2020. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.
The vessel is designed by Marin Teknikk, in close cooperation with YARA and other involved partners. KONGSBERG is responsible for the enabling technologies onboard, including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations. The project was initiated in an effort to improve the logistics at YARA’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant. Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from YARA in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik, where the company ships products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel, YARA progresses from road freight to sea freight, thereby reducing noise and dust emissions, improving local road safety, and reducing NOx and CO2 emissions.
YARA was founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe. The company’s crop nutrition solutions and precision farming offerings allow farmers to increase yields and improve product quality while reducing environmental impact. YARA’s environmental and industrial solutions aim to improve air quality and reduce emissions, and are key ingredients in the production of a wide range of products. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has a worldwide presence with more than 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries The contract has been entered into in the ordinary course of business of the Company. It is not expected to have any material impact on the earnings per share or the net tangible assets per share of the Company for the current financial year. None of the Directors or the controlling shareholders of the Company have any interest, direct or indirect, in the above contract.
Norway based Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD”), together with its subsidiaries (the “Group”), is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels. Headquartered in Norway and with 9,000 employees, VARD operates nine strategically located shipbuilding facilities, including five in Norway, two in Romania, one in Brazil and one in Vietnam. Through its specialized subsidiaries, VARD develops power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation solutions, and provides design and engineering services to the global maritime industry.
VARD was listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange on 12 November 2010. The majority shareholder of VARD is Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of FINCANTIERI S.p.A. Headquartered in Trieste, Italy, FINCANTIERI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and has, over its 200 years of maritime history, built more than 7,000 vessels.