Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has won a contract to undertake the conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel capability combining LNG and MGO.
The contract was awarded by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports with regard to its 117m, 8500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Samuel de Champlain, and the works will take place next year at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque.
The conversion, the first one of its kind to take place in Europe, is part of an EU-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast.
Under the contract, Damen is delivering a turnkey package that includes engineering, procurement and support.
The current propulsion system of the Samuel de Champlain is diesel-electric burning MGO, and so the package includes the change of generators to dual-fuel models and the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities.
The vessel was built in 2002 and is the largest vessel in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet.
The conversion project is being made possible by a subsidy from the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) via its Connecting Europe Facility program. To achieve the funding, GIE Dragages-Ports formed a 12-member Franco-Spanish consortium named the ‘S/F SamueLNG for a Blue Atlantic Arch’ project with the aim of promoting the use of LNG by small-scale vessels active on the Atlantic coasts of Spain and France and up into the English Channel / La Manche.
“The conversion of the Samuel de Champlain will demonstrate the feasibility of using LNG as a fuel on smaller vessels, and allow GIE Dragages-Ports to fulfil its mission of optimising costs via lower fuel bills and less engine maintenance, while at the same time delivering greatly reduced emissions of CO2,” said Damen.
Currently a series of studies are underway, and equipment is being ordered.