Gotlandsbolaget’s ‘Gotland Horizon X’ project comes a step closer

2024-03-01T18:59:38+00:00 March 1st, 2024|Ships|

Fast craft designer and builder, Austal Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swedish ferry operator, Gotlandsbolaget to develop a newbuilding contract for the ‘Gotland Horizon X’ catamaran concept, first announced in April, 2023.

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

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

Announcing the MOU, Austal’s CEO, Paddy Gregg, said that the company is ready to deliver a catamaran that is not only the largest, longest, and most technologically advanced ferry design developed by the company, but will also enable Gotlandsbolaget to achieve its climate-neutral emissions targets.

“’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 power plant and a class-leading, efficient hull design; leading the transition to de-carbonisation of commercial ferries. .

“This MoU further strengthens our commitment to Gotlandsbolaget to deliver a high-speed catamaran that meets climate-neutral emissions targets, while also providing an exceptional customer experience for passengers,” Gregg said.

Gotlandbolaget CEO, Håkan Johansson, added “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.

“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.

“Our primary focus is on securing the route contract, but even if we are unsuccessful, the new catamaran could (still) play a relevant role for both us and Gotlandstrafiken. Serving Gotland and the mainland is part of our DNA, and we plan to continue to do so,” he said.

Going forward, Austal will utilise its proprietary DeepMorpher™ AI technology to further develop and finalise an energy efficient hull that minimises energy requirements and optimises seakeeping.

Through ongoing collaboration between Austal, Gotland Tech Development and supply chain partners, the design team is continuing to confirm and optimise 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, the company added.