Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque started work on converting the trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Samuel de Champlain from diesel-electric propulsion to dual-fuel capability combining MGO and LNG. 


The first steel cutting ceremony for the prefabrication of a new section of the hull that will hold the new generators and other equipment was held at the yard, in the presence of Jean-Pierre Guellec, CEO of GIE Dragages-Ports and owner of the vessel, Stéphane Raison, Président Directeur Général of Grand Port Maritime Dunkerque, and Eric Sorel, Commandant de Port, together with representatives of Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) and the Samuel de Champlain project team.


Samuel de Champlain (117m length, 24m breadth and 13,167 ton deadweight) was built in 2002 and is the largest vessel in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet. Based in the Grand Maritime Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, the vessel divides its time between the Loire and Seine estuaries.


Under the contract, Damen is delivering a turnkey package that includes engineering, procurement and support. Engineering studies are being subcontracted to LMG Marin France.


The current propulsion system of the Samuel de Champlain is diesel-electric so the package includes 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.


The ship is expected to be operational by December 2018.

Source Damen Shiprepair