First hybrid battery-electric express ferry, with new power system platform from SEAM, delivered to Norled

3 minutes
February 22, 2023


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The first of two hybrid battery-electric express ferries, built by OMA Baatbyggeri for Norled AS, has been delivered after a successful commissioning of the diesel-electric systems integrated by SEAM. The installation of battery packs is scheduled for the summer of 2023.

Fully electric express ferries

In January 2022, OMA Baatbyggeri AS and Norled AS signed a delivery agreement for two hybrid battery-electric express boats. When delivered, both vessels will service the route package 2 (RP2) in Sogn and Fjordane in Norway and will be able to run entirely on electricity in most of the connections they will service. A third express vessel for the same route package is under construction and will be delivered to Florø Skyssbåt by OMA.


The vessel design is built on OMA’s well known combi-catamaran concept, which the company has produced and delivered since 2001. The vessel will be able to carry trailers of 40 tons, alternatively seven private cars in combination with 72 passengers.

The new express boats are built with seawater resistant aluminum - a strong and light material, which is essential for achieving energy efficiency while maintaining high speed and power.

The first vessel, OMA 548 (Frey), has now been delivered to Norled after a successful completion of commissioning phase 1 of the systems (diesel-electric operations) delivered and integrated by SEAM.

Weight vs. energy efficiency

The main challenge for this project, which was identified early in the process, was solving the puzzle of weight, space, and energy efficiency. Project Manager, Rune Sørensen, explains how the systems integrator went forward in solving this challenge.

- Our aim, for every vessel, is to ensure the most efficient power train. For this project, we focused our efforts on further developing our power system platform to ensure the most energy-efficient solution, parallel to working on reducing both weight and space utilization onboard.

Aiming to solve the challenge of weight and space limitations, SEAM initiated a full-scale re-design of their e-SEA® Drive power system platform. Everything from individual hardware components, solution architecture and software were re-evaluated and updated, to ensure a satisfactory weight reduction and space utilization onboard. With its compact design and optimized software architecture, the updated power platform achieves higher energy efficiency, which in turn decreases energy consumption during both diesel and electric operations.  

Having a focus on continuous development of their own products and solutions, SEAM plans to integrate their new e-SEA® Drive power platform on future deliveries within the express boat segment and are looking into how this solution can be utilized in other ship segments in the future. During the summer of 2023, the batteries will be delivered and installed by SEAM on both vessels, enabling fully electric operations for most connections.

Mikal Espedal, Project Manager at Norled, describes the process as pain-free and, so far, a success.

- The project has gone ahead without any big challenges so far, with a solid delivery by OMA. We have also received great feedback from both the yard and our representatives at the yard regarding the work SEAM has done throughout the project, including commissioning.  

For this project, SEAM has delivered:

Feature image: Magne Langåker

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