Transition Phase in Progress for the Samuel de Champlain

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine retrofit work on the dredger Samuel de Champlain is proceeding apace. The new propulsion system is already in place.
The work started on 8th October, upon the dredger’s arrival in Dunkirk. GIE Dragages Ports, the owner of the trailing suction hopper dredger and project manager for the retrofit work, has chosen Damen Shiprepair to carry out the operations involved. The old engines were removed on 18th October, to be replaced one week later by the new propulsion system: three MAN 6L35/44DF dual-fuel generators. This stage continued with the installation early in November of the tanks produced by Cryonorm.

The transfer to the ship repair facility should take place on 18th November. It is planned to restart the installations at the end of November. Until the Samuel de Champlain is up and running again in January, the Société de Dragage International - S.D.I. (DEME Group’s) dredger Breydel will be taking over operations in the Loire Estuary from mid-November onwards. The Breydel is currently deployed on the River Seine.

Built in 2002, the Samuel de Champlain is the largest dredger in the GIE Dragages Ports fleet, measuring 117 metres in length, 24 metres in breadth, and with a draught of 8 metres and an 8 500 m3 payload. The Samuel de Champlain is commissioned by Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port and operates 60 % of the time on the Loire Estuary and 40 % of the time on the Seine Estuary.

The LNG engine retrofit of a dredger is a world first. It forms part of a broader European project named "SamueLNG", which has seen the operation secure the financial support of the European Union via the Connecting Europe Facility.

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