MAN Extends Helping Hand to Mercy Ships

By George Backwell
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Africa Mercy: Photo Wiki CCL

MAN Diesel & Turbo says it has donated the equivalent of $115,000 dollars in service, spare parts and training to keep the engines of the hospital ship 'Africa Mercy', operated by Mercy Ships, in top condition to continue its charity work in Africa.

MAN Diesel & Turbo continues its charitable support of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship which provides medical care in African coastal areas to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it. In 2010, MAN Diesel & Turbo provided at a significantly discounted cost four new 5L21/31 type on-board power generators to the vessel, to power the floating hospital’s medical equipment.

In the same manner that doctors and staff aboard the vessel perform health checks and hand out medicine when needed, the four-stroke engines, with their characteristic fast pulse, need an occasional health check to ensure a healthy future.

The health check was done in the Las Palmas dry docks on the Canary Islands in July 2014. Three turbochargers were overhauled – with spare parts from MAN Diesel & Turbo’s after sales business unit PrimeServ Four-Stroke Denmark in Holeby, Denmark – and the gensets are now ready to continue to power up the converted Danish rail ferry, built in 1980.

The fourth power generator is planned to be completely overhauled in September when the vessel will be in Benin and the Hospital is in full operation. During the overhaul the superintendent from PrimeServ Academy in Holeby who will supervise the work will also conduct training for the engine crew members.

Africa Mercy has five operating theatres, modern X-ray, computer tomography equipment, a dental practice, a pharmacy and much more. Approximately 400 crew members and their families often live aboard for months at a time, so there are also recreational areas and a school for up to 60 children.

Two propellers drive the floating village around the African continent. They too had a health check. The spare parts for this came from PrimeServ Four-Stroke in Frederikshavn, Denmark, the competence center for our propellers. During the docking service technicians from the local PrimeServ hub in Las Palmas were performing part of the overhauls with the remainder performed by the Africa Mercy crew and dry dock staff.

Poul Knudsgaard, Head of PrimeServ Four-Stroke, said: “I am very happy that our knowledge and service can ultimately help make life better for people in need of medical attention.”

Jens-Erik Engelbrecht, CEO of Mercy Ships Denmark, said: “It is important to Mercy Ships that the Danish companies that built the rail ferry in 1980 continue to support us in her new life as hospital ship. MAN Diesel & Turbo has done so loyally for a number of years now. Expenses for maintenance can instead be spent on patient care. Our next destination is Benin.”

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