Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, part of the Dutch shipbuilding giant Damen, is moving forward with works on converting the trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain from diesel-electric propulsion to dual-fuel capability.
Once complete, the Samuel de Champlain will be the first dredger in Europe that was converted to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to Damen.
To remind, Damen won the contract last year from France’s GIE Dragages-Ports for its 117m-long, 8500-cbm trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain.
The vessel was built in 2002 and is the largest ship in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet.
Works on the dredger started in May 2018 and the vessel is expected to be operational in December.
The current propulsion system of the Samuel de Champlain is diesel-electric burning marine gas oil (MGO). The conversion works include the change of generators to dual-fuel models and the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities.
The conversion is part of an EU-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast and is being supported by the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) via its Connecting Europe Facility programme.