FSO Safer: The oil may be removed but efforts continue
The worst-case scenario was averted, according to the UN, by removing the oil within the FSO Safer supertanker, but work and fundraising for the towing and recycling of the old tanker must continue.
In early August, more than 1.1 million barrels of oil were finally transferred to the replacement vessel Yemen, formerly known as Nautica, after years of effort by the UN and IMO. Alas, Stéphane Dujarric explained that the work is not over as a specialized buoy is yet to be delivered and installed to moor the Yemen to the Safer for safe storage of the oil. Furthermore, as mentioned, the issue of towing and recycling of the old tanker remains.
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- The Safer, a supertanker built in 1976 and modified to an oil storage and offloading facility (FSO) a decade later, is anchored approximately 4.8 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen’s Hudaydah Governorate.
- Following the commencement of the conflict in Yemen in 2015, the vessel’s structural integrity deteriorated considerably due to a lack of repair and maintenance, placing the ship at danger of falling apart.
"However, critical work remains. We are counting on further generous support to finish this critical mission", said Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at a regular UN press briefing, in New York.
The Yemen cast off from the Safer Sunday night, local time, to a holding anchorage point pending the installation of specialized equipment for safely storing the volatile cargo.
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To complete the project, $22 million is still required. According to the UN, Generous Member States, the private sector and the global public have already provided $121 million in funding.