UN raises funds to prevent oil spill from the FSO Safer

Credit: Photo 100585444 © Liountmila Korelidou | Dreamstime.com

The United Nations has announced that it has raised the necessary $75 million required for the emergency operation to transfer oil from the decaying supertanker FSO Safer to a safe vessel, an emergency operation aimed at averting a disastrous oil spill in the Red Sea coast of Yemen and a potential $20 billion cost of clean-up.

The United Nations was warning few days ago, that the vessel moored off the Red Sea cost of Yemen is a rapidly decaying supertanker holding four times the amount of oil the Exxon Valdez spilled, and it could break up or explode at any time, unleashing a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe centered on a country already decimated by more than seven year of war. As it was stated by the UN, the Safer which was constructed initially as a supertanker and converted to be a floating storage and offloading facility (FSO) for oil, is moored about 4.8 nautical miles off the coast of Hodeidah governorate in Yemen and it is estimated to hold 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil. “In the event of a major oil spill the costs of a clean-up alone is estimated at $20 billion”, the report said.

The official, David Gressly, who is the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, said “that reaching the amount needed to implement the emergency operation was a fantastic milestone. It followed the Netherlands announcement that it would increase its pledge to $15 million from $7.5 million”.

The UN also needs a further $38 million to finish the job with the installation of safe long-term replacement capacity for the Safer.

The revised budget for the two-track plan is $113 million, comprising $75 million for the emergency operation and $38 million to replace the Safer capacity.

The United States, the UN, and the Netherlands partnered in April 2022 to launch an intensive awareness-raising campaign, as it is stated by the spokesperson of the US Department of state.

In New York, the UN gave insights into the operational plan: first transferring the oil into a safe vessel which is the phase one, before installing a permanent storage solution and scrapping the Safer which is the phase two process which requires an additional $38 million. 

Source: United Nations Yemen & US Department of State

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