Work has begun on the conversion of the trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Samuel de Champlain, which will become Europe’s first LNG-fuelled dredger.
The vessel is being converted from diesel-electric to dual-fuel propulsion at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque. Steel has been cut for the prefabrication of a new section of hull that will hold the new generators and other equipment. The hull block is currently being prefabricated in DSDu’s workshop and will be installed later this year. At the steel cutting ceremony Mark Jan van den Akker, CEO of Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, noted that LNG has an important role to play in the movement towards lower emissions, and that the conversion of conventional diesel vessels to dual-fuel is a viable option. The Samuel de Champlain is the first such conversion to be performed by Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque.
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 made possible by a subsidy from the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) via its Connecting Europe Facility programme. The converted vessel will divide its time divides her time between the Loire and Seine estuaries of Nantes Saint Nazaire port and is expected to be operational by December.