International charity Mercy Ships recently signed an agreement for the construction of the world's largest civilian hospital ship tentatively named Atlantic Mercy, and Stena RoRo announced that it is engaged as project manager. The vessel, an investment of more than $100 million, will be built at the Chinese Tianjin Xingang Shipyard, and delivery is expected by July 2017.
Atlantic Mercy will serve across the world with approximately 9-10 month-long stops in each port. On board there is room for 154 patients and 600+ crew and medical staff. There are six surgery rooms for both medical care and educational training. The intention is to increase cooperation, training and education for health care personnel in the countries where the ship is active. The total deck area is approximately 30,000 m2 and the vessel is equipped with a school and kindergarten.
Since 1978 Mercy Ships has been engaged in health care with hospital ships. Since 2007 the Africa Mercy, currently based off Pointe-Noire, Congo-Brazzaville, has served in the world's poorest countries and this new ship will more than double their capacity to help those in need.
"We are extremely proud to be involved in this unique project. It is an initiative out of the ordinary where our flexible ship concept will be very useful," said Per Westling, Managing Director of Stena RoRo.
Development of the new, well equipped hospital ship is done in cooperation between several Asian and European companies. Besides Stena RoRo as project manager, Finnish company Deltamarin is responsible for developing the vessel design. The ship is being built at one of China's largest shipyards, the state-owned Tianjin Xingang Shipyard and Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) in Geneva is the appointed shipbroker.
Atlantic Mercy will be based on Stena RoRo’s in-house RoPax concept Stena Seabird, certified as a passenger/cargo vessel for long international voyages with 500 passengers. The interior layout has been completely rearranged, the cargo handling equipment has been changed, the hull shape has been optimized and the ventilation and propulsion systems has been adapted, i.e. diesel-electric is used instead of diesel-mechanical propulsion.
The vessel is equipped with four medium-speed diesel engines, waste heat boilers and silencers. High standards of performance for vibration- and noise levels have been met. Bunkering is done with 4-6 months interval. The vessel is equipped with cranes for lifting aboard provision and cars used for land transport and other equipment. Provisioning (food, supplies, medicines, etc.) is supplied by the use of two 40-foot containers every week.
- Length: 174.1 m
- Breadth: 28.6 m
- Draft (design): 6.15 m
- Gross tonnage: 37,000
- Deadweight: 4,500 tons
The hospital vessel will be classed by Lloyd's Register and fly the Maltese flag.