(MENAFN- Nam News Network)
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (NNN-XINHUA) – The United Nations now has all the funds needed, to start an emergency operation, to prevent a massive oil spill in the Red Sea, from the Safer oil tanker, off Yemen.
David Gressly, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said yesterday that, donors have pledged all of the 75 million U.S. dollars required, for phase one of the UN plan – an emergency operation to transfer oil from the decaying tanker to a safe vessel.
Gressly said, the donation has surpassed the 75 million dollars needed.
The UN Development Programme is actively working on the first contracts to initiate the salvage operation, Gressly told reporters.
There will be a period of a few weeks of mobilisation for that, followed by a four-month operation to stabilise the Safer, for the work to transfer oil to a second vessel, and then for completing the work of phase two – a permanent storage solution, said Gressly.
The progress was announced after a high-level event on the Safer tanker, co-chaired by the Netherlands, the United States and Germany, yesterday.
To begin work on the emergency operation as soon as possible, the United Nations needs donors to convert all of the pledges to cash. As of Sunday, 59 million dollars had been disbursed or was in the process of being disbursed, said the press office of UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in a note to correspondents.
The United Nations also needs a further 38 million dollars for phase two.
The original budget for the plan was reduced by 31 million dollars, largely because of the adoption of a double-hull vessel tethered to a buoy system, as the safe long-term solution. The system is the fastest to implement and most flexible of the three long-term replacement options that were considered, said the press office.
The Safer, currently carrying more than one million barrels of oil, has been moored off the port of Hodeidah since 1988, as a crude oil storage and offloading platform. It has not been inspected or maintained since 2015.
In May, 2020, seawater leaked into the engine room. A temporary fix by divers from the Safer corporation succeeded in containing the leak. But the fix was not supposed to hold for long.– NNN-XINHUA
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