Piriou Builds Dredgers Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells for the Occitanie

By June 13, 2021 4   min read  (711 words)

June 13, 2021 |

Fuel cells works, Piriou Builds Dredgers Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells for the Occitanie

PIRIOU has just been officially notified by the Occitanie Region of the order for a 70m suction dredger in operation, intended for the maintenance of the ports of the Gulf of Lion.

Designed in collaboration with the Toulouse naval architecture firm LMG Marin, this modern and efficient dredge will offer a transport capacity of 1,500 m 3 of sediment. It will also be equipped with a sling allowing sand to be taken up to 32 m deep and a front unloading device used for relining the beaches.

The integration of a hydrogen fuel cell will save up to 20% of the ship’s diesel consumption.

Awarded after more than a year and a half of international competition, the market provides for the delivery of the dredge to Sète during the third quarter of 2023.

After the deliveries of the Estuary, the Fromveur II, the Breizh Nevez  I, and the recent order of the Insula Oya III, Piriou is a new success and confirms its dynamism and competitiveness in this segment of public service vessels.

Vincent Faujour, President of the PIRIOU Group, said: “With the award of this new contract, we are pleased to have won the confidence of a new region, that of Occitanie, for the realization of an innovative and complex vessel, which must meet very demanding operating conditions and optimum comfort for its crew. The integration of a fuel cell, batteries and hydrogen storage containers on a dredge are, beyond the environmental benefit, a technological challenge that we take up, as a player in the French marine hydrogen sector. Because of its low environmental impact, this future dredge will contribute to the energy transfer undertaken in the merchant marine sector.’

• A versatile and efficient dredge
The dredge is equipped with a 500 mm diameter line to suck in sediments and a pump of 6000 m3/ hour driven by an electric motor at variable speed. Its pumping capacity makes it possible to fill the well in less than 20 minutes. Sediments removed from harbours are discharged by lapping through doors located at the bottom of the hull. The dredge is also equipped with an end extension to reach depths of 32 m in order to take sand to replenish the beaches of the coast. This is done from the bow of the vessel by connecting the dredge to a floating discharge pipe of 500 m in length and more.

• Optimized manoeuvring equipment
The future dredge will be able to perform rotations in a tight timing while carrying a maximum of sediment (50% more than the old Dredge Cap Croisette), hence a very precise study of the hull and its propulsion. The vessel is equipped with a set of three variable speed electric thrusters — two 360° steerable thrusters aft and a high-power bow thruster–, this combination giving it the manoeuvrability necessary to carry out the dredging of the port channels.

• A comfortable ship with neat aesthetics
The accommodations for the crew include ten individual cabins of respectable size, soundproofed, air-conditioned, with the capacity to accommodate four additional people. The accommodations are arranged on three levels and the wheelhouse in the raised and advanced position allows a 360 ° vision on the water body and on the dredging equipment.

The lines of the ship are refined, in order to combine elegance with the robustness and constraints of a working ship. The dredge will carry the livery of the Region, with an H2 marking as a reminder of its hydrogen capabilities.

•  An environmentally friendly dredge

Equipped with IMO 3 engines, the dredge meets the latest environmental standards in force. At dock or anchorage, and to limit noise and environmental pollution, the ship can be entirely powered by its fuel cell. The available power will be sufficient to allow the crew to remain on board without any generators in service. Whether at the dock or in operation, particular attention has been paid to reducing air and water noise pollution.

Main features

Length:                                                         70,00  m

Width :                                                          13,60  m

Trough at  PP:                                                5.30  m

Draft   max. :                                                   4.45  m

Crew accommodation :                                       14  p

Max speed :                                                   11  nds

Hull /  superstructure:                                         steel

Steerable thrusters:                                 2 x 700 kW  1  bow thruster                        480  kW

Electric plant (4 GE +  battery  H2):          2,500 kW  Heavy  lift:  2,110                 T

Well   capacity:                                            1,500  m3

AVT range capacity:            4 containers H2  20 feet    Dredging  depth:                             32 m  Dredging  pump:                                        6,000    m3/h  /  700  kW


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