Brunvoll providing propulsion for autonomous ship

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Brunvoll has signed a contract to deliver a hybrid propulsion system for the Kongsberg Group’s world-first autonomous ship.

The Yara Birkeland will receive two PU74 pulling azimuth thrusters, rated at 900kW each and with a controllable pitch propeller and a diameter of 2.2m. In addition, it will be fitted with two FU63 700kW tunnel thrusters for maneuvering, both powered by a 6.8MWh battery pack. The container ship will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous ship of its kind, transporting fertilizer between Yara’s factory at Herøya and the ports of Brevik and Larvik in Norway.

The use of electric power will reduce the number of diesel-truck journeys by 40,000 per year, with a significant reduction of carbon dioxide and NOx emissions as a result. Entering service in 2020, the Yara Birekland will undergo trials with a crew aboard before becoming fully autonomous after a two-year period.

Brunvoll is also supplying Fjord1 with 10 azimuth propellers for a fleet of five new ferries under construction in Leirvik. “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.

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With almost two-decades experience in consumer magazines, Wesley recently moved to B2B publishing and now edits a number of titles for UKi Media & Events, including Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International.

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