Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has won a contract to undertake the conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel capability combining LNG and MGO. This will be the first conversion of its kind to take place in Europe.
The contract was awarded by Rouen-based company GIE Dragages-Ports and includes its 8,500-cubic meter trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain.
The conversion will take place at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque in autumn 2018. Under the contract, Damen is delivering services including engineering, procurement and support. The current propulsion system of the 117-meter-long Samuel de Champlain is diesel-electric burning MGO. Damen’s services include the change of generators to dual-fuel models and the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities.
Built in 2002, the vessel is based in the Grand Maritime Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire and divides its time between the Loire and Seine estuaries.
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. 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.
As explained, 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 optimize costs via lower fuel bills and less engine maintenance, while at the same time delivering greatly reduced emissions of CO2.
“We hope that this conversion will demonstrate to other short-sea vessels the benefits of conversion to LNG and mark the first stage of the development of an LNG bunkering network on the Atlantic coast of mainland Europe,” Jean-Pierre Guellec, CEO of GIE Dragages-Ports, commented.
Currently, a series of studies are underway and equipment is being ordered.