Damen has said that the conversion of Dragages-Ports’ Samuel de Champlain dredger to LNG dual-fuel capability combining LNG and MGO is close to completion.
The conversion work is being carried out at the company’s Dunkerque facility in France. It is said to be the first conversion of its kind to take place in Europe.
As part of the contract, Damen will deliver a turnkey package that consists of engineering, procurement and support.
Samuel de Champlain’s previous propulsion system was a diesel-electric burning MGO. The new dual conversion dredger includes a change of generators to dual fuel models and installation of on-board LNG storage facilities.
Damen said that this conversion faced its share of challenges as it required a fresh approach. The steps involved the change in the engine manufacturer, interfacing the main system with a new propulsion plant and extensive piping.
Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque commercial manager Fabien Guillemot said: “LNG isn’t new, of course, but this ground-breaking conversion of an existing vessel opens up new possibilities for everyone.
“With environmental regulations set to tighten even further in the foreseeable future, the success of this project is evidence for owners of ships operating in coastal waters and emission control areas that there is an alternative to scrapping old vessels and building a new one.”
The Samuel de Champlain will get back to its regular duties of dredging the Loire and Seine rivers after she gets re-commissioned.
EU is supporting an initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast and this conversion is said to be part of that initiative.