First European conversion of a dredger to dual-fuel LNG / MGO departs Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque
The first European dredger converted to dual-fuel LNG/MGO propulsion has departed Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) to return to work, 23 months after contract signing, the company said in its release. The 117 metre, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain is owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports and operated by the Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire. Damen delivered a turnkey package that included engineering, procurement, installation, commissioning and support. Key features included changing of the engines to dual-fuel (LNG/Diesel) models, the installation of onboard LNG storage facilities, and maintenance support for eight years.
As with all pioneering projects, the DSDu team encountered and overcame a series of unforeseen challenges from the start. This included significant revisions to the detailed engineering after a decision was taken to install different engines than had originally been planned. The new engines are considerably larger than those first specified and so DSDu had to completely rethink its methodology, which included the building of an entirely new engine room in their workshop.
A follow-on consequence of that was the need to reassess the interface linking the electrical facilities to the new engines. The cabling was complex and creativity was needed to reduce as much as possible the number of cables needed for the interface. Also, the new engine configuration resulted in the need for a considerable renewal and extension of all piping. Ultimately, over 25 tonnes of piping were reengineered, fabricated and installed, absorbing extra time and resources especially to accurately fit the new piping to the old.
Even the commissioning required careful thought. As this was the first dredger conversion using this type of propulsion, setting the parameters for the engine performance had to start with fresh thinking and a clean piece of paper.
The Samuel de Champlain was built in 2002 and is the largest vessel in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet. Based in the Grand Port Maritime of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, she 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.
The conversion of the Samuel de Champlain is intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using LNG as a fuel on smaller vessels as well as allow GIE Dragages-Ports to fulfil its mission of optimising costs via lower fuel bills and less engine maintenance, while at the same time delivering greatly reduced emissions of CO2, NOx and particulate matter emissions.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating (and covered) drydocks, including the longest, 420 x 80 metres, and the widest, 405 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.