The technology group Wärtsilä announced on 7 October that Mercy Ships, a philanthropic organisation providing essential healthcare to patients in developing countries, will be utilising its engine technology in the organisation’s new hospital ship.

When completed, 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.

Global Mercy is a purpose-built ship with state-of-the-art technology. In order to secure an uninterrupted power supply onboard the vessel, it was important to have high-quality engines available.

Previous hospital ships have all been conversions from passenger ships and other vessels. The 174m 37,000gt Global Mercy is a one-of-a-kind ship.

She 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.