Europe's first dual-fuel dredger conversion

The 'Samuel de Champlain’ Photo: MAN The 'Samuel de Champlain’ Photo: MAN

Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has signed off on the conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine gas oil (MGO).

The conversion of the Samuel de Champlain is the first of its kind in Europe and is part of an EU-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast.

Louis-Marie Rouxel, project manager for Damen, said, "The main reason for choosing MAN was the performance of its highly competitive 35/44 DF engine in response to load impacts. The unique demands of dredgers required engines capable of supporting great loads and, as a result of our studies, it turned out that this was the engine that best met these parameters."

The 117m, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger is owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports and operated by Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire. Its conversion involved the replacement of its diesel-electric MGO-burning propulsion system with three MAN 6L35/44DF dual-fuel models, as well as the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities.

Decisive criteria for selecting the 35/44DF solution include a load-step capability that can handle high load-fluctuations, ability to dredge continuously in gas-mode operation (Tier III) without switching over to diesel-mode (Tier II) and pure gas-start capability for minimal NOx emissions from the start of operation.

The conversion project is the first phase of the global project 'Towards a Blue Atlantic Arch by 2025' and was granted by the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency via its Connecting Europe Facility programme.

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