Austal to build hydrogen-capable, high-speed ferry for Gotland service

Australian shipbuilder Austal and Gotlandsbolaget of Sweden have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a hydrogen-capable, high-speed ferry.

As informed, the construction contract is part of Gotland Horizon X catamaran concept, first announced in April 2023.

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Under the terms of the MOU and proposed construction contract, the high-speed catamaran will be designed by Austal and constructed at the Austal Philippines shipyard.

Gotland Horizon X is a high-speed, aluminum catamaran that will use gas turbines in a combined cycle to transport up to 1,450 passengers, cargo and vehicles between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland.

The vessel will be 130 meters long and will be able to travel at 35 knots. Furthermore, Austal will use DeepMorpher AI technology to further develop and finalize an energy-efficient hull that minimizes energy requirements and optimizes sea keeping.

Through ongoing collaboration between Austal, Gotland Tech Development and supply chain partners, the design team is continuing to confirm and optimize various attributes of the vessel, including power, load capacity, and speed.

The introduction of this multi-fuel low emission-powered catamaran is a vital component in achieving Gotlandsbolaget’s goal of climate-neutral crossings between Gotland and the mainland by 2045, at the latest, according to Austal.

“Gotland Horizon X is an incredibly exciting project that is going to redefine commercial ferry capabilities, with a multi-fuel and hydrogen capable combined cycle powerplant and a class-leading, efficient hull design; leading the transition to decarbonisation of commercial ferries,” Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said.

“Thanks to the developments made by our team at Gotland Tech Development in collaboration with Austal, we can now move forward in supplementing our existing fleet of larger passenger and cargo vessels with a high-speed catamaran,” Gotlandbolaget Chief Executive Officer Håkan Johansson added.

“We are diligently working on producing an attractive and winning tender to maintain responsibility for operating the ferry route between Gotland and the (Swedish) mainland. We are convinced that a high-speed catamaran can significantly enhance the traffic.”

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Read more about hydrogen projects here.