beirut
Image credit: ABB

ABB is donating power supply equipment to hospitals and a school in Beirut which were damaged in a devastating explosion that killed more than 200 people and left thousands injured.

Almost 3000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse ignited in August, causing the explosion that ripped though thousands of buildings, including hospitals already facing the pressures of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Now ABB is providing power infrastructure products and solutions to these hospitals to help them fight Covid-19 cases and make them resilient to future blackouts.

“As a company that supports building safe and sustainable communities, it is our duty to provide impactful support to help rebuild the infrastructure in Beirut,” said Mike Mustapha, head of global markets for ABB Electrification.

Working with ABB’s local partner, Harb Electric, the donations include a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system for each hospital, along with various power equipment and energy distribution solutions.

The equipment will feed all critical loads from operating theatres and rooms with power sensitive equipment, such as X-ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and respirators.

Sister Nicolas Akiki from Rosary Sisters Hospital said: “Our hospital was severely impacted by the explosion due to its immediate proximity to the port area. We suffered extensive structural and equipment damage and this meant that we could no longer operate across all our medical and administrative units, or treat any patients.

She said the ABB equipment “will help us to further our mission through reconstructing our hospital to rise again and best serve our community”.

ABB also donated to the Quarantine Government Hospital, which has continued to function despite damage to its structure by the blast.

“Our hospital was also severely impacted by the explosion,” said chief executive Karen Sakr. “The commitment by ABB to future proof many of our theatres, treatment rooms, equipment and employee areas with reliable power and a resilient electrical system will enable us to continue to reconstruct key parts of the hospital and continue to deliver accessible patient care, wellbeing and safety.”

Equipment has also been sent to Collège du Sacré-Coeur school, which was almost completely destroyed by the explosion.

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School principal Rodolphe Abboud said the equipment “will be of great use in restoring our college and launching our newly-designed distance learning program so we can start the school year 2021 on time”.

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