A Look Inside SEAM

How has the 130-employee strong company been able to build and maintain a community that works together to make a difference in maritime operations? We took a look inside SEAM to find out.

SEAM aims to help maritime companies reach their efficiency and environmental goals. Since its beginning in 2003, the maritime technology company has positioned itself as one of the leading suppliers of zero-emission solutions to ships and the maritime business in Norway.

In order to tackle some of the world’s biggest maritime challenges, they are dependent on working together as a team and supporting each other through the uncertain waters of developing new, and often untried, solutions.

With just over 130 employees, how does the company preserve a strong sense of community and teamwork? To find an answer, we went directly to the source.

Working with the green shift

Ørjan Sørdal Fosen has been a part of the SEAM-team for four years and has his degree in Machine engineering from Bergen. Born and raised in Haugesund, he is proud to be a part of an innovative company that had its humble beginnings at Haugalandet.

– To be able to work in a technology company close to where I grew up, that is so enterprising, has been an amazing opportunity. We really are in the center of the green shift, which is exactly what I want to work with

His colleague, Ragnhild Opsal Skaar, agrees; she too finds great motivation in knowing that what they do actually makes a difference.

Ørjan Sørdal Fosen is motivated by knowing that what they do makes a difference

– It makes me really proud to be a part this company; I truly believe in what we do and what we stand for. Working towards the green shift is something that is particularly close to my heart, and it makes my work feel meaningful.

Working closely together means also being able to ask for help when needed. Ørjan says this has been imperative for his professional development.

– There are so many competent people at SEAM who I can go to when I need help with something. It doesn’t matter what the question is, because at the end of the day it’s all about further developing skills and knowledge.

Having that level of support means having a community, he says.

– There are over 130 people working here, but everyone knows everyone by their first name, and so there’s a really strong sense of unity. Working at SEAM makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.

Maintaining positivity

Ragnhild Opsal Skaar started working at SEAM in 2019.

Adding to her colleague’s statement, Ragnhild explains that supporting each other means having a sense of optimism in the company.

– We have this great positivity between us where we support and help each other. I can always go across different departments for help if I need it.

Ragnhild has been working at SEAM since 2019. Together with Ørjan, they organize and run the company’s employee welfare club and sports teams.

– We have a many different activities that we do together. Such as our company sports teams. We also organize different social activities outside of work; like going out together or arranging different social events. That level of community really makes working here very rewarding and fun, she explains.

Watch the full interview with Ørjan and Ragnhild:

Interested in a career at SEAM? See our open positions.

SEAM wins ‘Company of the Year 2021’

SEAM, represented by Gunvald Mortvedt (right), Pål G. Eide, Otto Koch, Stian Risdal, Helge Jørgensen and Karl Johan Ferkingstad, at the annual Haugaland Conference. Photo: Næringsforeningen Haugalandet/Grethe Nygaard
SEAM, represented by Gunvald Mortvedt (right), Pål G. Eide, Otto Koch, Stian Risdal, Helge Jørgensen and
Karl Johan Ferkingstad, at the annual Haugaland Conference. Photo: Næringsforeningen Haugalandet/Grethe Nygaard.

Last Friday, 20th of May, SEAM was awarded ‘Company of the Year 2021’ by Næringsforeningen Haugalandet. The award ceremony took place at the annual Haugaland Conference, and the award was accepted by Gunvald Mortvedt, Stian Risdal, Otto Koch, Pål G. Eide, Karl Johan Ferkingstad and Helge Jørgensen.

SEAM was nominated together with Seagarden, Reach Subsea and Olaussens Metall. Each company had to fulfill these five criteria in order to receive a nomination;

This was the jury’s reasoning:

‘All the finalists in this year’s competition meet the criteria for the award quite well. Never have the margins been smaller, nor the competition been harder.

One of the criteria for this award is that the company is headquartered at Haugalandet. This year’s winner doesn’t only have its HQ in this region, but it also uses the region as a strategic advantage for its operations.

Furthermore, the company has a strong focus on using local suppliers and has a strong commitment to help build a unique and leading community at Haugalandet within its industry.

They are actively participating in clusters and networks, both regionally as well as industry-specific, and are actively using their network to promote sustainable innovations.

The economic growth of the company has been excellent. Their turnover over the last five years has doubled and their profitability is one of the best in their industry.

In competition with far bigger companies, this year’s winner is leading in its industry – not just nationally, but also internationally. With their unique implementation model, they have acquired a market share of 30 percent, and have won numerous awards for their solutions.

With a business model based on the Green shift, this year’s winner is using considerable resources on research and development in order to develop even greener solutions, all in close dialogue with its customers. The company also has a strong focus on its own footprint and has made use of of energy saving measures such as solar panels, waste management, and recycling.

Their portfolio includes, among others, hybrid technology, charging technology and world-class zero-emission solutions, and the solutions this company offers has a direct impact on their customers’ climate footprints.

The competent team at Husøy tells us that it feels rewarding to be able to work with solutions that actually matter in terms of solving climate challenges, and the possibilities are endless.’

We wish to thank the jury, again, for their kind words and this special honor. It serves as a great motivation in our work ahead to help our customers, and the maritime industry as a whole, in reducing emissions, creating more efficient operations, and developing new solutions that may help our industry become even more future-oriented.

SEAM goes all in on Service with newly appointed Chief Service Officer

CEO, Gunvald Mortvedt, together with newly employed Karl Johan Ferkingstad, are looking forward to the strengthening of SEAM’s service department

In their efforts to further develop SEAM, the company’s management has now employed Karl Johan Ferkingstad for the newly created position Chief Service Officer to strengthen their service offer for their customers.

Throughout the years, the company has made increasing investments in their service offer to customers – both nationally and internationally. Now, the company wants to showcase their competence and experience with SEAM’s own products, together with general automation and electro service for ships, as well as taking a swing at solving one of the industry’s biggest challenges; quick access to spare parts.

– I believe SEAM has one of the most competent environments in its’ industry in Norway, and one of the district’s most exciting workplaces with a very promising future.

Ferkingstad, who has decades of experience from Aibel, Appex, Westcon Power & Automation and AKVA Marine Services, has been hired to further develop the SEAM’s Service Department. The company is looking to cover more ground and solve critical challenges to both national and international customers. The newly appointed CSO is looking forward to joining the company on their journey.

– The reason why I wanted to join SEAM was a combination of the company’s clear ambition to actively partake in the green shift, and the opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of the Service Department.

Focusing efforts on service & aftermarket

With a background in IT, Industry and Management, combined with an electro-engineering degree, he is ready to join the company in consolidating its’ role as a contributor to the Norwegian maritime sector’s zero emission goals. He thinks SEAM’s future looks bright.

– I am first and foremost very excited to work with so many extremely capable colleagues, in contributing to the industry’s transition towards zero-emission operations. I also find great motivation in knowing I will have the opportunity to establish an ‘upgraded’ Service concept for SEAM. I believe SEAM has one of the most competent environments in its’ industry in Norway, and one of the district’s most exciting workplaces with a very promising future.

Gunvald Mortvedt, Chief Executive Officer for SEAM, says service is an important aspect of the business, which he wants to clarify even further to their customers.

– We want to invest even more in our service offer to our customers and continue to build on the great work we’ve already done. Karl Johan will be a very important resource in our work to become an even stronger partner for our customers, throughout the service life of their vessels.

– Our customers should trust that we will be there for them, on time, at the right place, over and over again.

Ferkingstad believes it’s important to highlight the company’s knowledge and experience with products from other suppliers, as well as those developed by SEAM.

– It’s very important for us to communicate clearly to the industry that we also deliver services to customers who don’t have SEAM products on board their ships. We have excellent knowledge and experience with most types of the electro/automation solutions out there, and we have daily assignments on vessels both at home and abroad.

Proper follow-up is essential to the ship’s service life, according to Ferkingstad. Challenging situations may occur, in which SEAM’s employees are ready to help, and have a genuine wish to do so. This may mean increased service life and decreased downtime, he says.

– Continuous maintenance through service agreements, combined with agreements on critical spare parts, will help to increase the service life of the ship as well as decreasing its’ downtime. In order to become truly competitive in today’s market we have to do more than just deliver great products. We also have to make sure that the we follow up with our customers after the delivery and throughout the product’s service life. Our customers should trust that we will be there for them, on time, at the right place, over and over again.

New possibilities and challenges

Not only for traditional products, the green shift also represent new challenges and possibilities in terms of customer service needs, says Ferkingstad. Luckily SEAM already has this knowledge in place – and they want to share.

– The green shift affects our customers’ service needs in a good way, seeing as ‘green’ products often require less maintenance than traditional solutions. However, there is a bigger demand for specialized personnel to carry out maintenance on these products. That’s where we come in. In some cases, customers want their own technical personnel to complete the maintenance themselves. So, when the customer requests it, we provide training to the customers technical staff.

Another big challenge for shipowners and suppliers today is access to spare parts. A large increase in delivery times for these parts has made it challenging to provide quick relief to customers when a problem occurs. A situation that very well may cost the customer dearly. Right off the bat SEAM and Ferkingstad may have come up with a possible solution already.

– The solution here will be ensuring that we always have access to critical spare parts for our customers. Through dialogue with the customer we will map out which parts we need to have access to, which we will then add to our stock and provide to them through a “Spare Part” agreement.

SEAM also has ambitions to strengthen their service offer in the international market.

– We deliver a lot of service outside of Norway already, but with the growth that we are planning in the international market there will be a need for more resources. We are working on different models with regards to how this can be solved practically, and we expect a clarification on this during the second quarter of 2022.

– All potential candidates are encouraged to get in touch for a chat!

The keyword here being ‘resources’, because pretty soon there will be a big demand for even more competent personnel in SEAM’s Service Department.

– We will absolutely be needing a bigger service team soon. It could be roles such as Electrician/Automatician or Technician/Engineer within the Electronic, Automation and Commissioning fields. All potential candidates are encouraged to get in touch for a chat!

Realizing battery/hybrid ambitions for Eidesvik Offshore

See the interview with Project Manager at SEAM, Jarle Hemnes below.

The first ever hybrid/battery solution for offshore vessels was developed for Eidesvik’s Viking Energy – a supply vessel contracted for Equinor.

The system developed for Viking Energy stemmed from Equinor’s ambition to reduce the fuel emissions from contracted offshore supply ships. Eidesvik Offshore answered by converting their 5073-ton offshore ship to battery/hybrid operations.

The battery is used for peak shaving, by quickly contributing power under challenging conditions. The biggest advantage, however, is how the battery pack works as a backup for the main engine under dynamic positioning operations.

The system was a success. It reduced emissions and consumption with 30% during dynamic positioning and even increased crew safety on board.

After receiving funds to invest in hybrid/battery solutions for their offshore vessels, Eidesvik came to us with a need to develop and implement these systems onto two more vessels. And then, three more.

Project Manager at SEAM, Jarle Hemnes, has been a part of the project since the beginning.

Project Manager at SEAM, Jarle Hemnes

– Traditionally, SEAM has delivered service and maintenance to Eidesvik, but the biggest part of our delivery to Eidesvik the past few years has been hybrid solutions and battery installations.

Hybrid solutions play a big part in making the green shift possible in the maritime market. Being able to combine the benefits of hybrid operation when fully electric solutions come short may give significant reductions in emissions and more optimized operational cost.

– Together with Eidesvik, our technical team and our sales team, we were able to develop an optimal solution for their specific vessels. We are working on three now and have delivered three already – totaling up to six hybrid/battery deliveries to Eidesvik.

In total, SEAM has delivered thirteen hybrid/battery solutions to customers within the offshore market. According to Hemnes, each vessel contributes more knowledge to the automation and maritime technology supplier.

– We acquire a lot of experience from different vessels – no vessel is similar. The integration on each vessel becomes like a whole new experience, and our product keeps getting better and better, both technically and visually. We definitely grow a lot from that.

eSeamatic Blue® for hybrid operations

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Norled partners up with SEAM for development of innovative battery system

Autonomous Battery Swap – image by Norled

Norled, together with SEAM and others, have developed a new system for charging and operating express boats with electric batteries. Potentially catapulting express boats into a new electric age.

For a little over a year, SEAM has been working closely with Norled in the conceptualization and development of a new battery solution for electric express boats.

The new system, which Norled has coined as Autonomous Battery Swap (patent pending), will be able to not only maintain the high speed of an express boat, but also provide a more even and pragmatic approach to charging batteries at quays.

Autonomous Battery Swap is a robotic charging station which swaps out batteries on express boats while at quay. One part stands permanently on the quay, with its’ own battery station. The other is mounted on the boat, with two battery packs on a turntable.

The battery station will be able to swap out the empty batteries with fully charged batteries in three minutes, with the boat now ready for either 30 minutes of sailing in 35 knots, or 45 minutes in 30 knots.

The concept was introduced by Norled at the Zero Conference in Oslo, Wednesday 24th of November.

Finding the right solution

– The starting point came from an initiative by Norled, who wanted to find a more efficient way to electrify the express boat segment, says Project Manager at SEAM, Svein Johnny Naley.

Up until now, the challenges revolving electrifying express boats mainly came down to weight and size, and how this would affect the speed.

Traditionally, such as in the case of electric ferries, the battery is installed directly onto the vessel – increasing the weight.

– We started out wide and, in close collaboration with Norled, started finding potential solutions that were technically realistic. During this process we also accumulated insights from different external contractors for evaluation. We have invested a great deal into research and development of new technology, so this gave us a good opportunity to showcase our expertise in that regard – as well giving us a healthy challenge.

Project Manager at SEAM, Svein Johnny Naley

While there were many other approaches considered, the advantages of a battery swap solution were considerable.

– You can electrify both new and existing vessels, without having to install big, heavy battery packs on each boat. Lower weight gives lower fuel consumption, which in turn gives greater environmental advantages and lower operating costs.

Compared to traditional charging stations for electric ferries, the Autonomous Battery Swap provides a much quicker layover at each quay, because the batteries have already been charged while the boat is in transit.

This also creates less strain on the powergrid because the batteries can be charged by the already available grid capacity.

Multiple external companies participated in the process of both designs and technical solutions. Among the local contributors, Naley mentions SMV, Aarbakke Innovation, Halogen and Ramo Engineering as great contributors.

– We gathered ideas and input from multiple companies both locally and abroad. I believe we were able to manage all of these very constructively, which resulted in the solution we ended up with together with Norled.

An established partner

This is not the first time Norled has chosen SEAM as their partner in crime.

Chief Operating Officer, Otto Koch, believes this project confirms the great collaboration between the two companies.

– We have worked closely with Norled for a while, on many different projects involving groundbreaking work. We work well together, and we believe this project proves that.

Project Manager Naley believes the already established relationship with the shipping company was key to unlocking efficiency in this project.

– It has without a doubt been a very important aspect when delivering and securing efficiency throughout. Clear demands with quick replies; a good dialogue in these projects is essential in order to succeed, and I want to praise Norled for their enthusiasm and efficiency.

SEAM has many years of experience with developing electric and automation systems for hybrid and fully electric vessel operations.

COO at SEAM, Otto Koch, is optimistic about future possibilities

– We also delivered the hydrogen systems for MF Hydra – which is the world’s first hydrogen operated ferry. We invest in considerable amounts of resources to stay updated and ahead in regard to fuel cell technology and the fast-growing development in battery operations.

COO, Otto Koch, is optimistic about what future possibilities this project might attract.

– Projects like these are important to SEAM in many ways; we have the opportunity to get introduced to a larger part of the business chain; we are able to challenge individuals and organizations to think differently; and we believe we generally become more attractive to our surroundings if we can take part in the development of new solutions.

Challenging the norm

– We have to be able to think in different ways, challenge and root for each other. The industry has proven that it’s possible to achieve zero emissions in many different areas. Especially considering the milestones achieved in ferry operations.

But looking at past successes is not enough. Koch and the rest of the team at SEAM are determined to look forward in order to find optimal energy solutions and reducing emissions.

– Now we have to look towards other areas where there’s a need for better reach and more energy. We’ve learned a lot from working closely with our customers and suppliers, with our aim to achieve good results for the end customer. Moving forward we need to use what we’ve learned, both in terms of method and development, to find the next great solutions.

Read more about Norled’s new system here

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

SEAM looks to the international market

John Roger Nesje, Gisle Kevin, SEAM

SEAM supplies hybrid and fully electrical solutions to one-third of the Norwegian maritime market. Now, they’re looking to capture greater market shares internationally, having hired two seasoned veterans of the maritime industry.

For some time, there’s been a growing trend of increased focus on reducing emissions for Norwegian vessels in Norwegian waters. Now, the green shift is catching on internationally, as well. With their cost reducing technological solutions, which drastically reduce the climate effect of vessels, SEAM’s solutions are heading out into the world.

To strengthen the company’s international efforts, SEAM has hired Gisle Kevin and John Roger Nesje in the roles of Sales Director Asia and Sales Director Europe, respectively.

Kevin comes equipped with vast experience in the maritime world, having among other things sailed as first mate for Irgens Larsen AS, and served as inspector for Det Norske Veritas, focusing on electro-automation.

Lost prestigious project to SEAM

— Before my first day at SEAM, September 1st, I worked eight years at ABB Marine, where we supplied similar solutions to SEAM. Our focus then was on larger, international vessels, explains Kevin.

SEAM’s newly hired Sales Director Asia has a long experience with and knowledge about the Asian market, as his job in ABB involved front end sales in that region.

— How did you end up at SEAM?

— I keenly remember when, at ABB, we once lost a prestigious Norwegian project to SEAM, when it was still called Westcon Power & Automation, says Kevin, smiling as he continues:

— I’m very familiar with what the company has achieved back here in Norway. SEAM enjoys a good reputation, and their strategic choice in positioning themselves within green shipping, internationally as well, is exciting to me. I’m not done learning, and in SEAM there is much to learn from highly competent colleagues. At the same time, we’re going to continue building this company and position ourselves internationally, based on the good work already done in Norway.

Rising star

John Roger Nesje is nearly one month into his job as SEAM’s Sales Director Europe. He has worked in the maritime sector and with ships his whole life.

Among other things, Nesje helped establish Scandinavian Electric Systems, which supplied the international market with system solutions for hybrid and diesel-electric propulsion systems. In 2008, the company was aquired by Rolls-Royce, where Nesje worked until the opportunity at SEAM surfaced.

— During my time at Scandinavian Electric Systems I experienced a journey similar to the one we’re beginning at SEAM. That’s what drew me to the job in the first place — SEAM is a rising star, an underdog. I’m excited about helping pull SEAM out into the world, says Nesje.

For years, he sat on the board of Westcon Power & Automation.

— I took part in several strategy sessions and got to know many of the company’s central figures before I was hired. SEAM is a company made up of people with wonderful personalities, high levels of knowledge, enthusiasm, and grit. I’m looking forward to breaking into new markets and challenge the big players side-by-side with these people.


Sales Director at SEAM, Stian Risdal, is pleased with the two new hires.

— Kevin and Nesje are both people with broad experience in the maritime market, with proven results doing similar work for a similar company. They also possess technical competence, both having worked with technical aspects before moving into sales. With their network, they each cover a unique segment and geographical region. Having them on board will help us make a broader impact.

Nesje thinks the technical backgrounds both him and Kevin comes from is an advantage as SEAM prepares to play ball in the big leagues.

— Sales is about trust — the customer’s trust in the sales person, and trust in that we’ll fulfill our promises. In complicated technical sales, technical insight builds trust.

When SEAM now looks to the international market, their goal is mainly to energy-optimize ships through total packages supplied to vessels intending to sail on hydrogen and/or fully electric.

— In this space, continuing to build on SEAM’s competences and proven records will be essential. These are areas where SEAM excels. We are going toe-to-toe with big, established players, so we’ll have to play up the things that set us apart from the rest, says Nesje.

SEAM and Norway with a leg up

Mid-September, the executive of the Danish shipping giant A.P. Møller-Maersk, Søren Skou, said that he considered it about time to phase out the building of new fossil fuel-driven ships.

— In the automobile industry, they talk about a time when we will no longer be able to buy a car that runs on petrol. In shipping, we should be talking about when it will no longer be possible to place an order for a ship that runs on traditional fuel, Skou told Berlingske Tidende.

— This is a sprightly comment, to put it mildly, but at the same time a clear indication that now, we’re heading toward a greener global shipping industry, says Kevin, who thinks SEAM, and Norway, have a great advantage:

— In Norway, we’ve been ahead of the curve with regards to the electrification of ships. The rest of Europe, Asia and the world haven’t focused quite as much on the green shift. We’re not jumping on a ship here, we’re joining to help launch it.

Westcon Power & Automation becomes SEAM

To further strengthen our leading position within the green future of marine propulsion systems and following a change of ownership, Westcon Power & Automation rebrands and changes its name to SEAM.

We say bon voyage to Westcon Power & Automation as we simultaneously say bon voyage to inefficient and polluting maritime propulsion systems.

The rebranding of the business to SEAM from what has been known for many years as Westcon Power & Automation follows the recent acquisition of the company by Longship Fund II from Westcon Group.

SEAM will continue to be the leading system provider of hybrid and fully electric propulsion systems and automation solutions to the maritime industry. The company is also a forerunner in the development of propulsion systems with hydrogen as the main energy carrier.

SEAM is rooted in maritime terminology and depicts how we seamlessly reduce emissions, costs and integrate hybrid systems into existing ships. The name is new, but for you as our client and partner everything will stay as you are used to. We look forward to contributing in reduced emissions and secure a better future, and together say carbon voyage.