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December 9 (Renewables Now) - The Yara Birkeland, a fully electric battery-powered container ship owned by Norwegian fertiliser producer Yara International, is about to start commercial operation, Swiss battery maker Leclanche SA (SWX:LECN) has announced.
The vessel runs on Leclanche’s 6.7-MWh lithium-ion battery system with integrated liquid cooling. The Leclanche Marine Rack System (MRS) ensures optimum temperature control of the cells, the Swiss battery expert said, guaranteeing the Yara Birkeland’s smooth sail for at least ten years.
"Leclanche's marine rack system provides 30% higher energy density and up to a 230% greater life cycle than competitive systems - in addition to its reputation for having the safest battery system design," stated Guillaume Clement, VP e-Marine, Leclanche.
The Yara Birkeland is about 80 meters (262.5 ft) long and a 15-metres wide container ship with a deadweight of 3,120 tonnes or 120 standard containers (TEU). It completed its maiden voyage to Oslo in mid-November and then sailed on to Porsgrunn where Yara International operates a production site.
With the start of commercial operation, the vessel will undergo a two-year test period ahead of entering full autonomous operation on a route off the coast of Norway, said Leclanche.
Once the test period is finalised, the Yara Birkeland will be fully autonomous and transport containers along a fjord in the Telemark region from Yara’s factory to the port.
The electric vessel will operate at a service speed of around 6 knots (11 km per hour/6.9 miles per hour), with a maximum speed of 13 knots. Its operation is expected to displace around 40,000 truck journeys per year and the associated emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2.