Concept of world’s first large-scale hydrogen-powered catamaran unveiled

Sweden’s ferry company Gotland Company (Gotlandsbolaget) has unveiled the concept of Gotland Hydrocat, the world’s first large-scale, high-speed catamaran vessel powered by fossil-free hydrogen.

Courtesy of Gotland Company
Courtesy of Gotland Company

With the ship in service from 2030, the distance between Gotland and the mainland will be further reduced and the crossing time will be under three hours.

The vessel is the second vessel in Gotlandsbolaget’s Horizon series.

The Horizon series is based on high-speed passenger and cargo vessels and was launched as a concept model in 2021 with the Gotland Horizon at the forefront. The Gotland Horizon marked Sweden’s first project for large-scale, hydrogen-powered transport of passengers and cargo by sea.

Both Gotland Hydrocat and Gotland Horizon are being developed to minimise emissions from shipping. The two ship models will be able to offer even faster, more flexible and more sustainable trips to and from Gotland, according to the company.

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“We don’t think Gotland should have to choose between crossing time and climate benefits. That is why we are now developing the next generation of ships – the Horizon series – which, through new technology, will enable even better service and capacity while reducing emissions significantly,” Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget, commented.

“It feels very good that we now have two concept ships for our future fleet that bring Gotland even closer to the mainland while at the same time we can drastically reduce our emissions,” Marcus Risberg, CEO of Destination Gotland, said.

Gotland Company’s goal is for Gotland traffic to be climate-neutral by 2045. One of the most important initiatives to achieve the goal of climate-neutral Gotland traffic – Destination Zero – is the development of the next generation of ships.

The ships are designed to be powered by fossil-free hydrogen whose primary emission is water vapor. However, both ships have a so-called multifuel solution, which means that with a relatively simple adaptation, they can be powered by other fossil-free fuels.

The work to develop all the necessary technology is ongoing and the ambition is that the Gotland Hydrocat can be ordered no later than 2025 to be put into service no later than 2030.

The model for the Gotland Hydrocat has been developed by Gotlandsbolaget in collaboration with Australian shipbuilder Austal.