Friday, October 29, 2010

Africa Mercy Generator project Update

One of the old generators being removed
from the Africa Mercy
Mercy Ships state-of-the-art hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, has recently entered dry-dock in Durban, South Africa. Built in 1980, it had become essential to replace the onboard power generators in order to provide the vessel with a reliable supply of power and enable it to remain in service. The ship is receiving four 5L21/31 type MAN engines, each with an output of 1,000 kW (1,360 hp). The new generators will be mounted in such a way as to cause minimum vibration, as any vibration transmitted to the operating theatres could make the surgeons' task more difficult.

The Africa Mercy entered dry-dock on Sat. Sept. 25 th . Approximately 40 shipyard employees are working on the ship. Senior VP of International Operations, Jim Paterson, believes the project timeline is on track. “The shipyard is confident that we are on schedule for our completion date.”

At this stage in the project, the workers have cut a hole in the side of the ship and removed the old generators: four Frichs diesel generators and two B&W Alpha diesel generators. Currently, the foundations are being prepared before the workers lift the new generators into the ship.

 Other than the project manager and project supervisors, the Africa Mercy crew is not working directly on the generator project. They are, however, providing ample support for the ship yard during the project. There are roughly 80 Mercy Ships crew members still living on the ship working simultaneously on other projects. The ship being in the ship yard created an opportunity for the crew to repair areas that cannot normally be worked on when the hospital is in use. Projects include replacing the Main Engine Control System, doing a Main engine overhaul and painting in the dining room. There are also some hospital modifications being done.

When the project is complete, Mercy Ships will be able to reduce its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 20%. It will serve as a substantial cut of annual fuel costs. Founder Don Stephens is pleased with the amount of money that will be saved, and ensures those savings will directly benefit patients onboard the Africa Mercy in the future.