In the past few days, the first European dredger converted to dual-fuel LNG/MGO propulsion has departed Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque to return to work, 23 months after a contract signing.
The 117 metre, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain was built in 2002 and is owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports and operated by the Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire. She is the largest vessel in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet and divides her time between the Loire and Seine estuaries.
The conversion project was made possible by a subsidy from the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) via its Connecting Europe Facility programme.
Damen delivered a turnkey package that included engineering, procurement, installation, commissioning and support. Key features included the replacement of the vessel’s diesel-electric MGO-burning propulsion system with three MAN 6L35/44DF dual-fuel engines, as well as the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities and maintenance support for eight years.