Throwback Thursday Story: Austal and Gotlandsbolaget Partner to Construct Hydrogen-Capable Ferry

By April 18, 2024 2   min read  (348 words)

April 18, 2024 |

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Australian shipbuilder Austal, in partnership with Sweden’s Gotlandsbolaget, has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a pioneering hydrogen-capable, high-speed ferry. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in the development of sustainable maritime transport solutions.

The agreement is centered around the Gotland Horizon X catamaran concept, a project unveiled in April 2023, showcasing the future of eco-friendly sea travel. The high-speed catamaran, to be designed by Austal and constructed at the Austal Philippines shipyard, represents a leap forward in combining speed, efficiency, and environmental responsibility.

Envisioned as a 130-meter-long vessel capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 knots, the Gotland Horizon X will have the capacity to transport up to 1,450 passengers, cargo, and vehicles between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland. Utilizing gas turbines in a combined cycle, the catamaran is designed for multi-fuel low emission power, with a particular focus on hydrogen capability.

Austal’s use of DeepMorpher AI technology in the development process highlights the shipbuilder’s commitment to innovation. This technology will be employed to finalize an energy-efficient hull design that minimizes energy requirements and optimizes sea keeping, setting new standards for the industry.

The project benefits from the collaborative efforts of Austal, Gotland Tech Development, and various supply chain partners, working together to refine the vessel’s power, load capacity, and speed. This ongoing partnership underscores the shared goal of achieving climate-neutral crossings by 2045, aligning with Gotlandsbolaget’s environmental objectives.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Gotland Horizon X is an incredibly exciting project that is going to redefine commercial ferry capabilities… leading the transition to decarbonization of commercial ferries.”

Echoing this sentiment, Gotlandbolaget Chief Executive Officer Håkan Johansson emphasized the strategic importance of the high-speed catamaran in enhancing ferry service between Gotland and the Swedish mainland. The company’s commitment to producing a competitive tender for operating the route underscores their dedication to improving maritime traffic while adhering to environmental principles.

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