Saturday, October 24, 2020
Maritime Propulsion

October 7, 2020

Wärtsilä Powers Mercy Ship's New Hospital Ship

(Photo: Mercy Ships)

Mercy Ships' new hospital ship Global Mercy, nearing completion at the Tianjin Xingang shipyard in China, will be powered by four Wärtsilä 32 engines.

When completed, the philanthropic organization's Global Mercy will be the world’s largest vessel of its kind, providing essential healthcare to patients in developing countries. Mercy Ships expects to take delivery in 2021, and the ship’s maiden voyage is planned later in the year to Africa where crew will provide vital surgical care at no cost.

Wärtsilä, who said Wednesday that it has provided the ship's engines, noted it will also provide a five-year services maintenance agreement covering parts, field service, asset monitoring and full technical support to keep the vessel running at all times.

The Wärtsilä engines are double resilient mounted, and comply with the DNV VIBR vibration classification, the manufacturer said, noting this smooth running capability is of special importance for a hospital ship with onboard surgical operations taking place.

The supporting maintenance contract is part of the company’s Lifecycle Solutions offering. It provides guaranteed operational reliability with performance targets determined from measured data. The measurable indicators can include, for example, availability, reliability, and fuel consumption. The agreed targets are reached through automated key performance measurements, optimized maintenance and remote advisory.

"Because of its function as a floating hospital, special considerations have had to be taken into account, and we have worked closely with the owners and the yard to ensure that all requirements are met," said Jaakko Eskola, President and CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation.

"The Global Mercy is a fully purpose-built ship with state-of-the-art technology. In order to secure an uninterrupted power supply onboard the vessel, it was important that we have high quality engines available," said Russ Holmes, Director of Corporate Development of Mercy Ships. "The Wärtsilä 32 engines supported by the extensive maintenance agreement, provide this assurance, which will help us as we carry out our mission to bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor and to positively impact global healthcare."

Previous hospital ships have all been conversions from passenger ships and other vessels. The 174-meter long, 37,000-ton Global Mercy is a one-of-a-kind ship. It features 12 decks, two of which are for the hospital, including six operating theatres, 102 acute care beds and 90 self-care beds. The vessel accommodates a crew of up to 641 volunteers, and additional space can host up to 950 people at any one time when in port.