Europe’s first LNG dual-fuel conversion dredger is launched at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque
19 months after the contract was awarded, Europe’s first conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel capability combining LNG and MGO is close to completion. This is the first conversion of its kind to take place in Europe, Damen said in its release.
Damen will deliver a turnkey package that included engineering, procurement and support. The previous propulsion system of Dragages-Ports’ Samuel de Champlain was diesel-electric burning MGO, and so the contract included the change of generators to dual-fuel models and the installation of on board LNG storage facilities. The project was a complex one and not without its challenges. A decision to change the engine manufacturer once the project was underway required a fresh approach to their integration, and the interfacing of all the main systems with the new propulsion plant plus the extensive pipe works required meticulous planning and careful execution.
“The Samuel de Champlain conversion has been the subject of much interest within the dredging industry and the maritime industry in general,” says Fabien Guillemot, Commercial Manager at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque. “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 ever 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.”
On February 26 a technical presentation on the Samuel de Champlain project took place at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque to an invited audience of Damen customers and other companies with an interest in the technology and its potential. During the technical presentations the various challenges that the project team encountered as the conversion proceeded were discussed. The object of this was to give other vessel operators considering conversions of this type detailed insights in the process and some of its less predictable elements. The customer Dragages-Ports and the three main suppliers/subcontractors of the project also spoke about their specialist roles.
Following her final commissioning the Samuel de Champlain will return to her regular duties of dredging the Loire and Seine rivers.
The conversion has been part of an EU-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating and (covered) drydocks, the largest of which is 420 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.