Mercy Ships has announced that it has reached an agreement with Asian and European shipbuilding firms to purpose-build a new 36,600-GRT hospital ship for Mercy Ships. Contracts were signed between Dong Qiang, vice president of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), and Donald K. Stephens, president and founder of Mercy Ships, together with Jim Paterson, senior vice president of Mercy Ships Marine Operations.
The vessel will be built at the group’s Tianjin Xingang shipyard, where the shipyard’s chairman, Gao Xuehu, and president, Mr. Hu Xiang, expressed excitement to be working on this unique project.
“This project will make this vessel the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, and delivery is being planned for July 2017," Gao says.
“We are thrilled to formally secure this important milestone for a project we have worked on quietly for quite some time,” Stephens says. “Our goal with this second Mercy Ship is to more than double the hope and healing through life-changing surgeries provided to those with little access to specialized health care and to increase the partnership of training and educational support of health professionals within the developing nations our ships will continue to serve.”
The 174-meter hospital ship will be designed by the Finnish firm Deltamarin. Stena RoRo will manage the actual project construction under the leadership of Per Westling, managing director.
The 157-year-old French ship brokerage company Barry Rogliano Salles, under the leadership of its Geneva (Switzerland) office managing director, Gilbert Walter, negotiated the successful contract and sale.
CSIC is one of China's largest shipbuilding and ship repair groups and operates directly under the China state government with authorization for investment and capital management. The group has a total asset base of USD $27.54 billion and a workforce of 140,000. The group's 28 R&D institutes employ more than 30,000 engineers, and it has eight state-level laboratory centers, seven enterprise technology centers and 150 large-scale laboratories.
The new Mercy Ship will be classed by Lloyd's Register and flagged by Malta.