First French-flagged LNG dredger delivered to Dragages-Ports

Samuel de Champlain; Image courtesy of Dragages-Ports

Dragages-Ports’ dual-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain has been delivered to the company.

Dragages-Ports’ said that the Samuel de Champlain TCHD vessel sailed from Damen’s shipyard in Dunkirk on June 14 following a long conversion period

The vessel arrived at the Loire estuary on Sunday, June 16, to start dredging operations. It is worth noting that Samuel de Champlain became the first French-flag vessel using LNG as a fuel, resulting from the first ever conversion of a dredger into dual fuel.

The company the decided in 2016 to replace the vessel’s existing diesel generators by a dual-fuel (diesel and LNG) system. This conversion is part of a wider European project called “S/F SamueLNG for a Blue Atlantic arch” implemented by a consortium of 12 members, including the French ports of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, Le Havre and Rouen, but also the Spanish ports of Vigo and Gijon and the Central Dredging Association (CEDA).

A contract worth 17,8 million euros ($20M) for the conversion of the dredger was awarded by Dragages-Ports in 2017, to Damen Shiprepair & Conversion after a European tender.

Under the contract, Damen delivered a turnkey package that included engineering, replacement of existing gensets by three 3180 kW dual fuel gensets based on MAN 6L35/44DF engines, two type C tanks containing 153 cbm of LNG each, representing a range of one week.

Two refueling stations, a nitrogen unit, piping networks and the modernization of the control/command system were also included in the contract.

Conversion work on the vessel started in 2018 in Dunkirk. The delivery of the ship was initially scheduled to take place in January 2019 but was delayed several times due to the numerous technical issues. Samuel de Champlain’s sea trials were successfully completed last week.

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