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'Samuel de Champlain'

Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque completes trail-blazing conversion of TSHD dredger to dual-fuel propulsion

Date
June 2019
Ship name
'Samuel de Champlain'
Ship type
Dredging
Yard
Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque
Tasks performed for this project
  • Conversion to dual fuel

Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) has completed a lengthy and complex project to convert a dredger from diesel-electric burning MGO to dual-fuel LNG/MGO propulsion. This is the first conversion of its type to take place in Europe and was funded by the European Union in order to promote the use of LNG by small-scale vessels active near the shores of the Atlantic coasts of Spain and France and up into the English Channel / La Manche.

Transformational project

The vessel undergoing this pioneering project was the 117-metre, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger Samuel de Champlain.

Built in 2002 and owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports, she was due for a midlife refit and GIE Dragages-Ports was exploring ways to optimise her 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.

23 months after DSDu won the tender and the contracts were signed, the yard has delivered a turnkey package that has included engineering, procurement, installation, commissioning and support. The key changes to the vessel were changing the engines and installing onboard LNG storage facilities, major operations that had significant impacts on its entire structure and systems.

The conversion work involved modifications to the internal structure to allow the installation of two, Type C LNG tanks on the hopper deck. Thereafter, the three original diesel engines, two main and one auxiliary, were replaced with three dual-fuel engines. At the same time, the electrical distribution, command & control and security systems were all upgraded and the machinery spaces, the cooling systems and much of the piping underwent extensive modifications. Work on the project began in Q4 2017 with the start of initial studies and the ordering of equipment.

Challenges encountered and overcome

As with all pioneering projects, the DSDu team encountered and overcame a series of challenges. These included the need to make significant revisions to the detailed engineering after the decision was taken to install different engines from those originally selected. 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 the piping. Ultimately, over 25 tonnes of piping were reengineered, fabricated and installed with care taken 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.

Uniquely experienced in short-sea LNG conversions

As a result, DSDu has acquired much valuable experience that can be applied to future projects of this type, and more of these conversions can be expected to come to the market. The project was made possible by a subsidy from the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) via its Connecting Europe Facility programme. Its aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of using LNG as a fuel on smaller vessels and, with the Samuel de Champlain now in operation, European short-sea ship owners can see for themselves the benefits of switching to LNG. This in turn should encourage the development of an LNG bunkering network on the Atlantic coast of mainland Europe. Aside from LNG carriers, she is also the first LNG-powered vessel to operate in France.

Dredgers are ideal vessels for demonstrating the advantages of dual-fuel propulsion as their power requirements vary greatly as they go about their operations. These can range from steady steaming to and from the site of operations to sudden manoeuvring and periods when they may require lots of power as they push into strong currents while at the same time operating their dredging pumps and other equipment. The converted Samuel de Champlain is expected to operate close to 100% on LNG, even in such conditions, with the MGO option available for extreme situations.

DAMEN SHIPREPAIR DUNKERQUE

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Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, part of Damen Shipyards Group since 2012, is the only provider of ship repair and conversion services in the Port of Dunkirk, France’s third largest harbour.

  • The electrical distribution, command & control and security systems were all upgraded and the machinery spaces, the cooling systems and much of the piping underwent extensive modifications
  • This is the first conversion of its type to take place in Europe and was funded by the European Union
  • 'Samuel de Champlain' launched at DSDu
  • The vessel undergoing this pioneering project was the 117-metre, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger 'Samuel de Champlain'.
  • Built in 2002 and owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports, she was due for a midlife refit and GIE Dragages-Ports was exploring ways to optimise her 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.
  • The cabling was complex and creativity was needed to reduce as much as possible the number of cables needed for the interface.
  • 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.
  • DSDu has completed a lengthy and complex project to convert a dredger from diesel-electric burning MGO to dual-fuel LNG/MGO propulsion
  • The conversion work involved modifications to the internal structure to allow the installation of two, Type C LNG tanks on the hopper deck.
  • 'Samuel de Champlain' departs Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque
  • The electrical distribution, command & control and security systems were all upgraded and the machinery spaces, the cooling systems and much of the piping underwent extensive modifications
  • This is the first conversion of its type to take place in Europe and was funded by the European Union
  • 'Samuel de Champlain' launched at DSDu
  • The vessel undergoing this pioneering project was the 117-metre, 8,500m³ trailing suction hopper dredger 'Samuel de Champlain'.
  • Built in 2002 and owned by Rouen-based GIE Dragages-Ports, she was due for a midlife refit and GIE Dragages-Ports was exploring ways to optimise her 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.
  • The cabling was complex and creativity was needed to reduce as much as possible the number of cables needed for the interface.
  • 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.
  • DSDu has completed a lengthy and complex project to convert a dredger from diesel-electric burning MGO to dual-fuel LNG/MGO propulsion
  • The conversion work involved modifications to the internal structure to allow the installation of two, Type C LNG tanks on the hopper deck.
  • 'Samuel de Champlain' departs Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque

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