Port of Antwerp and aid organization Mercy Ships have reached agreement on the matter. The ship will be able to moor in the port of Antwerp for more than 3 months free of charge for these works.
Dozens of Belgian companies and organizations will participate in the project. The construction of the Global Mercy will make it possible to double the medical aid in the African countries from the end of 2021.
The Global Mercy is currently still in China where it is being built. The ship is 174 meters long, 28 meters wide, has 12 floors and weighs 37,000 tons.
The first sea trials went well, and a few more test runs are planned in the coming weeks. It will then be prepared for departure to Antwerp, where the ship will dock in the second quarter.
In the port of Antwerp, the largest hospital ship in the world, with 200 beds and 6 fully-fledged operating theaters, will be further equipped and finished.
In Antwerp, preparations have now started to receive the ship. A place has been reserved at the Nautical Operational Center of Port of Antwerp. Many companies and organizations have already pledged their cooperation with enthusiasm.
With this project we also want to underline the social commitment of the port. Dozens of companies, inside and outside the port, have already announced that they want to participate in this unique project. In this way, together we also make a nice contribution to the population of Africa with whom the port has a strong connection
says Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp.
Bert van Dijk, Chairman of Mercy Ships also added that the completion of the Global Mercy includes the installation of systems and medical equipment that, together with the 650 volunteers, will form the beating heart of this exceptional hospital ship. This will allow them to save twice as many lives as is the case today, and that for the next 50 years.
The ship will dock in an African port for 10 months a year to provide people with the vital medical care they lack there. It will also serve as an education and training center for local health workers.