Norled, Remota and Seam sign LOI for remote and autonomous ferry operations

4 minutes
June 8, 2023
8. June 2023 – Norwegian ferry and express boat operator Norled, Remota AS and Seam AS have today signed a letter of intent (LOI) to collaborate on the further development and operation of a control center for marine operations and autonomous operations of ships.

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Remota is a joint venture between Deep Ocean, Solstad Offshore and Østensjø Group, set up to fast-track the adoption of remotely managed services in order to drive down operating costs and emissions for the marine and offshore industries.

Seam is a leading supplier of zero-emission solutions to the maritime industry

Autonomous operations

The three companies intend to build on Remota’s already established control center for marine and semi-autonomous vessel operations, and further develop this to include control of autonomous operations.

Through a joint control center environment, the parties want to share experiences, collaborate on technological solutions, promote standardization and utilize cross-functional synergies that benefit Norled and its customers, Remota and Seam.

“We have many vessels and crossings that we would like to make more autonomous in order to increase safety and efficiency for our passengers and crew. Already back in 2001 we performed our first pilot for auto crossing and auto docking, and we will this year start our third pilot. Autonomous navigation is taking the technology to the next level and we are excited to join forces with our partners SEAM and Remota to do so, says Erlend Hovland, chief technology officer at Norled.

Norled AS is one of Norway's largest ferry and express boat operators. The company has over 70 vessels and operates ferry and express boat services from the Oslofjord to Troms County. Norled has invested significantly in new types of vessels and eco-friendly technology, such as the world’s first electrical ferry in 2015 and the world’s first vessel running on liquid hydrogen in 2023.

Remote operations for maritime operations

“We are firm believers in competency transfer between different industries. We have extensive experience from remote operations from the offshore oil and gas industry. Both the technology and competence can be transferred to operation of car and passenger ferries, but we need innovative operators such as Norled to pave the way for this development. The ultimate benefit is substantial cost savings and smaller environmental footprint from vessel operations,” says Sveinung Soma, CEO of Remota.

Remota owns and operates advanced onshore Remote Operations Centers (ROCs), which are key to unlocking huge emission reductions and cost savings from the marine and offshore industries. Today, the ROCs operate remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and underwater drones for the subsea oil and gas industry.

However, Remota’s intention has always been to expand its service offering to other industries including offering remote operations and semi-autonomous maritime services to existing vessels. The collaboration with Norled and Seam will help fast-track this development.

Zero emission solutions

As well as advanced automation, SEAM delivers complete zero-emission products to a significant part of the Norwegian shuttle ferry market. 

Resent research and development together with ongoing projects on hydrogen, ammonia and other hybrid solutions towards new advanced and greener shipping demands, have put SEAM in a leading position with regard to power management for new technologies. 

SEAM has put a large number of hours and resources to achieve digitalization and platforms for the purpose to become an open integrator for the industry.

As a power and automation integrator, it’s natural for SEAM to deliver autonomous systems as a part of the package and it’s important to be a part of a community that's pulling in the same direction. SEAM's role within this agreement is to be the system integrator and technology supplier.

“This is a very exciting and innovative development project, which will enable a possible generational shift for vessel operations. We are incredibly proud to take part in this exciting collaboration with Remota and Norled,” says CEO at SEAM, Gunvald Mortvedt.

The LOI between the three parties was signed today at the Nor-Shipping 2023 industry event at Lillestrøm, outside Oslo, Norway.

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