The world's first autonomous ship project has been put on ice due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The hull of the 3,200-dwt, 120-teu coastal vessel Yara Birkeland was launched at the Vard shipyard in Romania in February.

The vessel was due to arrive at a Norwegian Vard plant this month for fitting of various control and navigation systems, as well as to undergo testing before delivery to owner Yara International.

But the company has now said: "Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the changed global outlook, Yara has decided to pause further development of the vessel and will assess next steps together with its partners."