Stena is to offer up the ‘Stena Saga’ as a hospital ship.
Sister company, Stena RoRo has prepared the design and a project manager has been appointed to convert the ropax into a hospital ship giving space for 520 patients.
The company claimed that it could convert the ferry in a few weeks ready to provide additional healthcare capacity in a corona-affected region.
Contact has already been made with authorities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany.
When passenger service on ‘Stena Saga’s’ Oslo/Fredrikshavn route was permanently closed, due to the coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed by several countries, Stena Line transferred the ship to its sister company Stena RoRo to find an alternative use for the vessel.
One of Stena RoRo’s specialist skills is converting and adapting ships to changing requirements and needs. The company has also had considerable experience in building hospital ships.
“At a shipyard in China, we’re currently building the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the ‘Global Mercy’, on behalf of the international charity Mercy Ships,” explained Per Westling, Stena RoRo CEO. “Our project manager for the ‘Global Mercy’ is back in Sweden and will lead any possible conversion of the ‘Stena Saga’.”
Stena Saga is currently fitted with more than 590 pax cabins.
“To meet the requirements for medical care, we need, among other things, to rebuild the ventilation system, install alarms and communications systems, and also change the interior furnishings,” said Stena RoRo Project Manager, Rikard Olsson. “In addition, patients and crew must be able to be kept apart. We can do what needs to be done in two to three weeks.”
However, she will not be equipped with intensive care facilities.
“The idea is to provide care for corona patients who need hospital care but not intensive care,” Westling said. “There may also be a need for beds for patients who have left intensive care but still require medical care for a while longer. Probably, it’s mainly a matter of being able to relieve the load on conventional hospitals.”
’Stena Saga’ is currently berthed at Uddevalla.