Shipbuilder Austal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swedish ferry operator Gotlandsbolaget for the design of Gotland’s next catamaran, Horizon X (pictured).
The Horizon X high-speed catamaran will be able to operate on hydrogen and other fossil-free fuels and run at 35 knots, while transporting 1,650 passengers and up to 450 vehicles.
Under the MOU, Austal will develop the design of a 130 metre long high-speed catamaran, with a multi-fuel solution that allows it to also operate on fossil free fuels, including hydrogen.
CEO of Gotland Håkan Johansson Johansson said: “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.”
Austal Limited 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 metre, 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.”
Austal is not the on ly Australian shipbuilder developing ferries capable of running on other than fossil fuels – in January Tasmanian company Incat announced an order for an electric ferry to operate in South America.
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