Austal Australia and the Swedish Gotland Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the design of a large catamaran.
‘Gotland Horizon X’ is a 130 m long high-speed catamaran that will be able to operate using hydrogen and other fossil free fuels. She will be sail between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland, transporting 1,650 pax and 450 vehicles at speeds up to 35 knots.
Under the MoU, both parties intend to sign a design agreement whereby they will develop the design with a multi-fuel solution.
Austal Limited’s CEO, Paddy Gregg, said: “This agreement with the Gotland Company confirms Austal is ready to finalise the design, ready for construction, of a new 130 m, hydrogen powered, high-speed catamaran that is yet another pathway forward to net zero emissions.
“Austal has developed vessel designs optimised for various fuel and propulsion technologies, including hydrogen and electricity, that offer a real choice to operators of high speed craft. We look forward to working with the Gotland Company to finalise an exciting new design of the highest standards,” he said.
Håkan Johansson, Gotland Company CEO, added; “This is an important step in our climate journey. We are working on developing our future ships, and in 2022 we presented the second ship model in our Horizon series: ‘Gotland Horizon X’.
“This high-speed catamaran can operate on hydrogen and other fossil free fuels. The vessel will be a very good addition to the traffic between the Swedish mainland and Gotland. She will be used foremost during the summer months and make the trip to and from Gotland in under three hours.
“The ship design is based on Gotland’s, and our passengers’ needs to be able to travel with a short transit time to competitive prices, without burdening the climate or environment. We will develop and number of features with the goal to minimise the energy demand and ensure maximum efficiency; an optimal hull design, minimise the weight, optimise the consumed energy on board,” he said.
Christer Bruzelius, Head of Gotland Tech Development, said: “Austal is a leading company within development and productions of large catamarans and is the perfect partner in continuing the development of ‘Gotland Horizon X’.”
Gotland had previously presented a large passenger and freight vessel, with capacity for 1,900 pax and 600 vehicles. The plan is to have at least one of the ships in traffic before 2030.