VARD has contracted PG Flow Solutions to supply the engine room pump system to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel, Yara Birkeland.
Norwegian shipyard Vard Brevik has been tasked with building the NOK 250 million vessel on behalf of Oslo-listed international fertilizer producer YARA.
Liquid handling and pump specialist PG Flow Solutions will deliver a complete engine room pump system, consisting of coolers – including cooling pumps for the vessel’s battery pack and tunnel thrusters, bilge pumps, ballast water pumps and fire water pumps plus other associated equipment, spare parts and services. The pump systems will be delivered in April 2019. PG Flow Solutions’ contract value is undisclosed.
“We have delivered close to 2,000 engine and utility pump installations over the past four decades but being chosen as supplier to the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel is a particularly proud moment for us. An autonomous vessel requires the most reliable, high-quality equipment in the market, hence we are immensely proud that VARD has chosen our engine room pumps,” says Steve Paulsen, CEO of PG Flow Solutions.
The vessel’s hull will be supplied by Vard Braila in Romania, while the complete Yara Birkeland autonomous vessel is scheduled to be delivered from Vard Brevik in Norway in Q1 2020. The vessel will gradually move from manned operation to fully autonomous operation by 2022.
The Yara Birkeland project was initiated 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’s Porsgrunn plant 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 moves transport from road to sea and thereby replaces 40,000 truck journeys per year, which in turn reduces NOx and CO2 emissions and improves road safety in a densely populated urban area.
“Our pump systems are energy efficient and have very low maintenance requirements. They are a good fit for the vessel’s requirements,” says Morten Espenæs, sales manager at PG Flow Solutions.