SEAM looks to the international market

6 minutes
September 27, 2021
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.

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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.

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