A ceremonial steel-cutting ceremony has started the conversion of diesel-electric-propelled trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Samuel de Champlain to Europe’s first LNG-powered dredger.
Its dual-fuel capability combines marine gas oil (MGO) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The first cutting of steel at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque was for the prefabrication of a new section of hull that will hold the generators and other equipment.
Damen is delivering a turnkey package that includes engineering, procurement and support, while engineering studies are being subcontracted to LMG Marin France.
Samuel de Champlain is the largest vessel in the GIE Dragages-Ports fleet. Based in the Grand Maritime Port of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, she divides her time between the Loire and Seine estuaries.
She is expected to be operational by December.
The conversion of the 2002-built vessel is part of a European Union-supported initiative to promote LNG propulsion in short-sea vessels operating along the European Atlantic coast.
It is being subsidised by the Connecting Europe Facility program.