Swedish shipping company, Gotlandsbolaget has unveiled the ‘Gotland Hydrocat’ design concept.
This design is claimed to be the world’s first large-scale, high-speed catamaran ropax project powered by fossil-free hydrogen.
It is planned to have the ship operational from 2030, resulting in the crossing time between the Swedish island of Gotland and the mainland being reduced to under three hours.
The design will be the second in Gotlandsbolaget’s so called Horizon series.
Horizon is based on high-speed passenger and cargo vessels and was launched as a concept model in 2021 with the ‘Gotland Horizon’, which marked Sweden’s first project for large-scale, hydrogen-powered transport of passengers and cargo by sea.
Both deigns are being developed to minimise shipping emissions. The two ship concepts will be able to offer faster, more flexible and more sustainable trips to and from Gotland, the company said.
“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, Gotlandsbolaget CEO, said.
“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, added.
Gotlandsbolaget’s goal is for all of its ships to be climate-neutral by 2045.
The new ships are designed to be powered by fossil-free hydrogen whose primary emission is water vapour. However, both ships have a multi-fuel solution, which means that with a relatively simple conversion, they can be powered by other fossil-free fuels.
Development work is currently ongoing with the aim that Gotland Hydrocat could be ordered no later than 2025 and enter into service no later than 2030.
Gotland Hydrocat’s design was developed by Gotlandsbolaget in collaboration with Australian shipbuilder Austal.