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The Horizon X will feature a multi-fuel solution, capable of operating on hydrogen.

The Horizon X will feature a multi-fuel solution, capable of operating on hydrogen.

Gotlandsbolaget signs an MOU with Austal for the Horizon X catamaran

High-speedGotlandsbolaget has previously presented the concept vessel Horizon X, a high-speed catamaran with the aim of supplementing the Gotland traffic. Now the company is going further and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian shipyard Austal.

In 2023, Gotlandsbolaget and the Australian shipyard Austal signed a first letter of intent in the joint work to develop a new catamaran for Gotlandsbolaget. Now the companies are taking the next step in the collaboration through an MOU, with the goal of being able to sign an agreement on construction. If a newbuilding contract is entered into, the high-speed catamaran could be delivered in 2027.

"Thanks to the development that our team at Gotland Tech Development made together with Austal, we can now create the conditions for the next step in supplementing our existing fleet of larger passenger and cargo vessels with a high-speed catamaran," says Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget.

Gotlandsbolaget's subsidiary Destination Gotland is responsible for the procured Gotland traffic, where procurement is now underway for the next concession period 2027-2035.

Håkan Johansson continues "We are working hard to produce an attractive and winning tender in order to gain continued confidence in operating the procured traffic between Gotland and the mainland. We are convinced that a high-speed catamaran will supplement the traffic in a very positive way. We are primarily betting on winning the contract, but if we don't, a catamaran can still have a relevant role for both us and the Gotland traffic. Serving Gotland and the mainland is in our DNA and we plan to continue with it.”

Since last spring, they have, among other things, worked on minimizing the energy requirement through energy-efficient hulls, as well as optimizing weight, operation and flows. Using gas turbines in the "combined cycle" in the powertrain is also a development of great importance. It is technology that has been proven on land and is now to be launched.

"The work on the design of Gotlandsbolaget's new catamaran has been intensive, and we have further developed our vision together with potential suppliers. In this work, we have now worked on optimizing the ship to achieve the best balance between power, load capacity and speed. We have had to make some minor adjustments, but in general our plans hold, which is a statement of strength. There is always a risk when you are at the forefront of development," says Christer Bruzelius, Gotland Tech Development.

The new catamaran will take 1,450 passengers and have the conditions to serve Gotland and the mainland during the parts of the year when extra capacity is needed to meet Gotland's and visitors' needs.

"Destination Gotland already delivers significantly more capacity than the agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration requires. A high-speed catamaran can become an attractive product that complements the traffic when most people want to go. The goal is of course to win the contract with the Swedish Transport Administration, but in the event that we don't do it, a catamaran can run competing traffic for parts of the year," says Marcus Risberg, CEO of Destination Gotland.

The work with a catamaran is an important piece of the puzzle to reach the goal of climate-neutral crossings between Gotland and the mainland by 2045 at the latest.

© Shippax

Feb 16 2024

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