KYST​.NO: Will expand and scale up sea­weed production

Seaweed Energy Solutions (SES) will expand its production at Frøya in Trøndelag. "We are beginning to approach an efficient and scalable production for high-quality food products," says Jon Funderud, CEO, to

The company is based in Trøndelag and is developing new technologies for industrial cultivation of seaweed. CEO Jon Funderud said to that they produced 20 tons of kelp last year and point out that this is still a small scale production where they work to solve various bottlenecks in the value chain.

- But we are starting to approach an efficient and scalable production for high quality food products, he says.

The company is involved in seaweed projects throughout the value chain, from spores to finished products, with the main focus on the cultivation itself. 

- Still new inquiries

The Seaweed chief points out that they have witnessed a significant increase in the interest in seaweed in recent years. 

- We are still receiving inquiries from new small players who want to get started with seaweed cultivation. It is positive that there is an interest in starting cultivation, but it is also important to point out that the market is not yet mature for large-scale production. There is a lot of exciting [things] happening in the field of food, but for a while, there is a need for large volumes in the food market, Funderud states. 

The company has plans and ambitions to expand its operations throughout the year. 

- We plan to increase production by 2017 and then scale up in line with demand, explains Funderud to

Want cooperation across industries

In the longer term, the company believes in industrial markets such as feed and bioenergy, but they also see that a proper technology boost is required to enable this. 

- We have done a lot of basic work for several years with R&D, but there is still a need for investments in a long-term and professional technology race for large-scale cultivation of seaweed. Here we will challenge Norwegian technology companies to contact us, he encourages.

- There are major technical challenges to be solved and there is a need for cooperation across marine and maritime industries. In Norway there is enormous expertise in aquaculture, fisheries and offshore and together we can come a long way, he adds. 

To be sure, cultivation of tare is going to be a major and important industry in Norway. 

- It's about time and timing is right. There are countless opportunities within food for humans, healthier and more sustainable feed for fish and animals, and bioremediation. 

  • For almost 10 years, SES has been working on research and technology development for cultivation of seaweed.
  • In 2014, they launched their first large-scale pilot plant outside Frøya with a production in the order of 100 tonnes, which is one of the largest facilities for seaweed cultivation in Europe.

Translated from the original article (in Norwegian):