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Ship & Boat BuildingFerriesAustal and Gotlandsbolaget sign MOU to construct a gas turbine powered high...

Austal and Gotlandsbolaget sign MOU to construct a gas turbine powered high speed catamaran

Austal Limited is pleased to announce Austal and Gotlandsbolaget of Sweden have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a construction 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 passengers, cargo and vehicles between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland.

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

Announcing the MOU, Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said Austal is ready to deliver a catamaran that is not only the largest, longest, and most technologically advanced ferry design developed by the company, but also enabling Gotlandsbolaget to achieve their 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 powerplant and a class-leading, efficient hull design; leading the transition to decarbonisation 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.”   

Gotlandbolaget Chief Executive Officer Håkan Johansson said “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,” Mr Johansson added.

Going forward, Austal will utilise Austal’s 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 optimize 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.

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