World's largest civilian hospital ship to have Azipods

MARCH 18, 2015 — ABB is to deliver electrical propulsion and power systems to a new flagship hospital vessel for the international charity Mercy Ships.

The vessel, Atlantic Mercy (working title), will be built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) at its Tianjin Xingang Shipyard and is scheduled for delivery in 2017. The construction is being managed by Stena RoRo and the design of the 37,000 gt vessel has been developed by Deltamarin of Finland, based on Stena RoRo's in-house Stena Seabird RoPax concept

To be certified as a passenger vessel, the Atlantic Mercy will be fitted with a pair of ABB's Azipod C propulsion units.

When completed, the Atlantic Mercy will be the world's largest civilian hospital vessel. It will feature full hospital, accommodation and training facilities and once in service, she will expand the Mercy Ship organization's activity on the African continent. There will be two hospital decks onboard, and six surgery rooms that can be used for both medical care and educational training.

The ship will have beds for 109 acute-care patients, 45 self-care patients, and over 487 crew members and medical staff in 277 cabins. While in port, the ship's capacity increases to 950 people.

"We have done many challenging newbuildings over the years, but this is truly a fantastic project to work [on]," says Staffan Stenfelt, Newbuilding Manager at Stena RoRo. "To know that the work we do on behalf of Mercy Ships can contribute to the wellbeing of so many make ourselves and selected partners such as ABB very proud to be involved."

The power production system on board the Atlantic Mercy is designed to ensure power supply for its hospital functions in any possible fault situation. In addition, the ABB power and propulsion plant will be supported by a remote diagnostics system and around-the-clock telephone assistance to ensure uninterrupted operations.

"ABB's marine solutions supported with a global service network have already established a strong position across several high-end vessel segments that require outstanding reliability, flexibility and energy efficiency," says Heikki Soljama, Managing Director for ABB's marine and ports business. "This hospital vessel project continues the successful collaboration between ABB and Stena on state-of-the-art ships."

"Our hospital ships operate in environments where reliable power is not always available," says Jim Paterson, Senior Vice President Marine Operations for Mercy Ships. "Even if shore power was available, we could not count on it to provide a safe and clean source of power to operate our hospitals. Our ships have to be pretty self-sufficient and able to provide, not only for the hospital, but also for the 400-plus crew, staff and family members who serve on board. A reliable power source and distribution system is critical for this to happen. Using Azipod propulsion also enables us to dock in tight spots and not be dependent on tug support for arrival or even unexpected departures."

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