The technology group Wärtsilä announced on Wednesday (Oct07) that Mercy Ships, a philanthropic organisation providing essential healthcare to needy patients in developing countries, will be utilizing its engine technology in the organisation’s new hospital ship.  

 Wärtsilä powers world’s largest NGO hospital ship

When completed, the Global Mercy will be the world’s largest vessel of its kind, and will be powered by four Wärtsilä 32 engines. Wärtsilä will also provide a five-year services maintenance agreement, .

The comprehensive agreement covers parts, field service, asset monitoring, and full technical support to keep the hospital ship running at all times. 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. 

The Wärtsilä engines are double resilient mounted, and comply with the DNV VIBR vibration classification. 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, optimised maintenance, and remote advisory. 

“At Wärtsilä we are proud to be partnering with Mercy Ships and to be providing the power for this ground-breaking vessel. 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. As a global corporation, we are committed to supporting sustainable societies. We are therefore both honoured and humbled to join forces with Mercy Ships, and to support it in successfully carrying out its valuable humanitarian work,” says 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. 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. We welcome Wärtsilä as a one of our key suppliers in enabling this work,” says Russ Holmes, Director of Corporate Development of Mercy Ships. 

Previous hospital ships have all been conversions from passenger ships and other vessels. The 174 metres 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.