Global Mercy ready for maiden voyage

Written by

Nick blenkey

The ship was handed over during the shipyard ceremony

The largest civilian hospital ship in the world, Global MercYes, has now been officially handed over to Mercy Ships in a ceremony at the Tianjin Xingang Shipyard in northern China.

Stena RoRo, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who was also responsible for the design and subcontracting of the ship, is managing the construction of the ship, which is due to make its maiden voyage to Europe, under the command of Captain Taylor Perez. Accompanied by a crew recruited by the company Stena Northern Marine Manning Services and sent to China, he will embark the Global Mercy as far as Belgium, where, for a few months, it will be staffed with volunteers and will have the latest medical equipment. installed. It will then continue to Rotterdam to be presented to sponsors, future volunteers, the media and other interested parties. After that, the Global Mercy will be ready to sail to West Africa for a service in Dakar, Senegal.

Mercy Ships provides free health care to the world’s poorest. The Global Mercy has, among other things, six operating theaters, beds for 200 people, a laboratory and an eye clinic. The ship is the first to have been designed and built for the specific needs of the organization. Previous ships were built for other operations and converted into hospital ships.

Mercy Ships, whose work relies on the efforts of volunteers from around the world, also helps build local skills and healthcare infrastructure by training local healthcare workers in host countries. As a result, the Global Mercy is also equipped with first-class training facilities.

The Global Mercy, listed by Lloyd’s Register, will sail under the Maltese flag and operate along the African coasts.

Major suppliers include ABB, whose Azipod propulsion will help the 174-meter-long vessel enter less accessible ports off the African coast, where assistance from tugs may be limited or simply unavailable. The Azipod will also reduce vibration and noise, which is important for the comfort of up to 200 patients and medical staff on board.

“In addition to offering comfort levels equivalent to those of a high-quality cruise ship, hospital ships must provide surgeries on an as-needed basis, making it essential that vibrations are kept to a minimum,” said Per Westling, Managing Director of Stena RoRo. “In sea trials, the performance of ABB’s Azipod propulsion was even better than expected, exceeding expectations for a safe return to port and providing smooth and tightly controlled navigation.

In addition to the twin 2.85 megawatt (3,821 HP) Azipod units, ABB’s scope includes generators, distribution boards, transformers and drives, as well as bridge controls for the propulsion system and the ABB Ability Marine remote diagnostic system, which allows rapid detection and correction of faults on board.

Once in operation, Global Mercy will benefit from round-the-clock support from ABB Ability’s collaborative operations centers, which serve more than 1,000 vessels worldwide. From these hubs, ABB’s experts monitor on-board systems, coordinate equipment diagnostics and provide predictive maintenance services, providing 24/7 global technical support. This support is essential for floating hospitals, which demand the highest standards of safety and reliability.

Global Mercy on sea trials. 9 Photo: StenaRoRo

Main suppliers :

ABB – Main propulsion system, generators
Alfa Laval – Plate coolers
Berg Propulsion – Bow thruster
Consilium Marine & Safety – Fire alarm system
Evac – Waste treatment and recycling
MacGregor – Hull doors and gangways
Scan Marine – Supervision of interior installation in accommodation areas
Selektope – Coating agent
Wärtsilä – Generator motors

About Global Mercy:
Length: 174 meters
Beam: 28.6 meters
Draft: 6.15 meters
Gross tonnage: 37,000 tons
Deadweight: 5,448 tonnes
Total area, indoor: 30,000 square meters


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