Kongsberg Maritime to operate two autonomous vessels

2 September 2020 (Last Updated September 2nd, 2020 11:41)

Kongsberg Maritime, along with Kongsberg Wilhelmsen joint venture Massterly, has signed a contract with Norwegian company ASKO to install autonomous technology on two vessels.

Kongsberg Maritime to operate two autonomous vessels
The new vessels will replace two million kilometres of truck transport, saving 5,000t of CO₂ annually. Credit: Kongsberg.

Kongsberg Maritime, along with Kongsberg Wilhelmsen joint venture Massterly, has signed a contract with Norwegian company ASKO to install autonomous technology on two vessels.

According to the contract, the two Norwegian companies will also oversee the operations at sea.

Approximately 60% of the investment is provided by the companies and marks a major step in the sustainable maritime operations growth in Norway.

Currently, ASKO transports the cargo, using over 800 trucks each day and has committed to sustainability. It has invested in technologies, which include electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The new roll-on, roll-off (RORO) vessels will offer a zero-emission transport alternative to connect the warehouses west of the Oslo fjord and the distribution centre on the east.

The operation of the ASKO is within the coastal jurisdiction of Norway and the safety level on the vessels must satisfy the Norwegian Maritime Authorities (NMA) before it approves them for operations. DNV GL will support the NMA in the risk assessment.

Designed by Norwegian vessel designer Naval Dynamics, the vessels are expected to be delivered in 2022. India’s state-owned Cochin Shipyard will construct the vessels.

After the arrival of the ships, the autonomous operation will be implemented and tested in the Oslo fjord operational area.

ASKO Maritime director Kai Just Olsen said: “We have a clear ambition to be climate-neutral and have set ambitious goals, including being a self-sufficient provider of clean energy and having 100% emission-free transport by 2026.

“These innovative ships are key to fulfilling that ambition and will form an essential component of a zero-emissions logistics chain, linking our facilities.

“Fully electric trucks will take the cargo between the warehouses and the ports of Moss and Horten, and in shipments of 16, the trailers will be transported across the fjord on the battery-driven vessels. This solution is cost-effective, sustainable and will remove trucks from a heavily trafficked road.”

Last month, Kongsberg Maritime signed an agreement with Island Offshore to provide turnkey hybrid battery solutions for the company’s three UT 776 CD-design platform supply vessels.