I-Tech AB’s barnacle repelling biotechnology for marine coatings, Selektope, has been selected to protect the hull of hospital ship Global Mercy from barnacle fouling while docked for long periods of time at ports located in biofouling red zones off the coast of sub-Saharan Africa
Mercy Ships is a charitable organisation whose volunteers provide medical treatment and undertake urgent operations on board hospital ships docked at local ports in some of the poorest countries in the world. Since 1978, its medical missions have worked in more than 55 nations, providing services worth over US$1.7Bn and helping more than 2.8M people. The charity currently operates the converted passenger ship Africa Mercy, but when their new, purpose-built hospital ship Global Mercy enters into active service in 2021, their capacity to help those in need will more than double.
The contract to build Global Mercy was awarded to the Xingang shipyard in Tianjin, China in 2014, with Stena RoRo appointed by Mercy Ships as project manager. When considering the hull coating for Global Mercy, Stena RoRo selected an antifouling coating containing Selektope that would protect the hull from hard fouling during extensive static periods. In support of the charity’s vital work, I-Tech AB has donated the required volumes of Selektope to Mercy Ships.
Stena RoRo said “Stena RoRo is extremely proud to be involved in the building of Global Mercy and to manage the production process. We identified Selektope as the most suitable, innovative technology to ensure the hull of this new hospital ship does not suffer from the negative effects of barnacle fouling, even when idling for many months.”
I-Tech AB chief executive Philip Chaabane said “The mission of Mercy Ships is vitally important for providing surgical attention for those with the least access to medical care in Africa and I-Tech is proud to donate the Selektope required in the hull coating. Our fast-growing technology, with its heritage in the scientific research domain, is a perfect fit for this ship and its operating pattern. We are proud partners to the Mercy Ships organisation and grateful for the work they do to help humanity.”
Mercy Ships chief executive officer Tom Stogner said “We welcome Stena RoRo’s selection of a Selektope-containing antifouling coating for Global Mercy and thank I-Tech for the donation of their technology in support of our mission. The use of the latest technological innovations to safeguard Global Mercy against biofouling when static is of prodigious importance to us.”
At 174 m long, the 37,000-tonne hospital ship Global Mercy is a one-of-a-kind ship equipped with 12 decks, six operating theatres, 102 acute care beds and 90 self-care beds. The ship can accommodate a crew of up to 641 volunteers, and can host up to 950 people at any one time when the ship is in port.
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