14 December, 2022

“Gotland Horizon X – A future-proofed concept” – interview with Luke Pretlove, Technical Manager at Austal

Gotland Horizon X, the world’s first large-scale hydrogen powered catamaran, has been developed in cooperation with Austal, a global ship builder for high-speed passenger ferries.


Luke Pretlove, Technical Manager and naval architect at Austal is part of the R&D team at Austal and has been involved in the development of Gotland Horizon X. With his interest in decarbonization technologies, he plays a vital role in the progress of reducing the shipping industry’s climate impact.


– Gotland Horizon X is a really exciting project, and it is impressive how forward-thinking Gotland Tech Development and Gotland Company are, and how ambitious their decarbonization objectives are, says Luke Pretlove.


The Gotland Horizon X vessel is based on available technology, with gas turbines and steam turbines that are used in other industries and sectors, however this will be first of its kind for a high-speed passenger ferry. With this in mind, Gotland Horizon X will set a new standard for the use of hydrogen in the maritime industry.


– The technology and design provide a level of future proofing as the gas turbine provides fuel flexibility and using a steam turbine in combined cycle maximizes efficiency. This concept is a novel approach to the challenge of lowering the emissions of high-speed vessels in the northern European market, says Luke Pretlove.


Austal specializes in low weight and high efficiency commercial vessels for the international market, with the ambition to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector. By 2030, Austal wants to reduce its emissions (from scope 1, 2 and 3 -upstream) by 50%. Luke Pretlove argues that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the maritime industry. It all depends on the needs and environment where you operate:


– The decarbonization of the shipping industry consists of two parts; first we need the technology to run on low-emission fuel and secondly, we need access to the fuels. There is no single answer on how to do that, as it depends on the ships’ operating profile, route and access to clean energy in the market.


Luke Pretlove continues by commenting on the need for increased production of hydrogen:


– Green Hydrogen will become increasingly important as it will be the base for many of the necessary fuels that the shipping industry will rely on to reach greenhouse gas emission targets and reduce climate impact.