Swedish company Stena RoRo has delivered Global Mercy, the world’s largest civilian hospital vessel, to the charity organisation Mercy Ships.

The vessel has been constructed at China’s Tianjin Xingang shipyard under Stena RoRo’s project management.

Contracts for the project were signed in 2013, and the keel was laid in 2015.

The vessel will now commence its maiden voyage to Belgium, where it will be staffed with volunteers and deployed with the remaining medical equipment.

Global Mercy will then sail to Rotterdam in Q1 2022, where it will be presented to sponsors, future volunteers, media and other interested parties.

Thereafter, the vessel will be ready to sail to West Africa for its mission in Senegal.

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Stena RoRo managing director Per Westling said: “The activities to be carried out onboard have placed certain special and stringent demands on shipbuilding. For the shipyard, it was the first time they had built a vessel of this type, a challenge they have managed extremely well.”

With a gross weight of 37,000t, Global Mercy has the capacity to accommodate around 950 people, including 641 crew members.

The 174m-long ship has been designed to be a passenger ship-class vessel.

The vessel features six operating theatres, a laboratory, 200 hospital beds and patient, eye and dental clinics.

Global Mercy has a service speed of 12k and design draft of 6.15m.

In a statement, Stena RoRo said: “The ship is the first to have been designed and built for the specific needs of the organisation. Previous vessels have been built for other operations and converted into hospital ships.”

Since 2013, Stena RoRo was responsible for the design, contracting and execution of this project.

Finnish Deltamarin carried out the detailed design work while France-based Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) was the broker.

Global Mercy has been classified by the Lloyd’s Register in the UK and flagged by Malta.

Last month, Stena RoRo announced the completion of the vessel’s deepwater sea trials.