Damen close to completing dual-fuel conversion
Shipbuilder and repairer Damen has nearly completed the conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel LNG and MGO capability, launching the Samuel de Champlain from its Dunkerque facility on 27 February. The conversion will be the first of its kind in Europe.
“LNG isn’t new, of course, but this ground-breaking conversion of an existing vessel opens up new possibilities for everyone. With environmental regulations set to tighten ever further in the foreseeable future, the success of this project is evidence for owners of ships operating in coastal waters and emission control areas that there is an alternative to scrapping old vessels and building a new one,” said Fabien Guillemot, Commercial Manager at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque.
The project team gave a technical presentation on 26 February to a selected audience about the technical aspects of the project. The conversion was complicated by the decision to change the engine manufacturer once the project was underway. The interfacing of all the main systems with the new propulsion plant plus the extensive pipe works required meticulous planning and careful execution.
The Samuel de Champlain was the largest dredger in Dragages-Ports fleet, with a 117-metre length, 24-metre width and 8-metre draft.
Once commissioning is completed, the Samuel de Champlain will return to her regular duties of dredging the Loire and Seine rivers. The conversion has been part of an EU-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast.
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