A salvage deal was struck to avert an impending disaster off the coast of Yemen Ship’s crew

SMIT Salvage, a subsidiary of Dutch maritime services company Boskalis, has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to remove oil from the derelict ship FSO safer Tanker moored off the coast of the Red Sea in Yemen. The project aims to transfer over a million barrels of oil from the United States safer to a safe tanker for responsible disposal.

Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski expressed his “extreme delight” at the agreement, noting that the company has been working with the United Nations since 2021 to prevent a potential environmental and humanitarian catastrophe. The Boskalis ship It’s a favor will leave Rotterdam with the necessary recovery equipment for the mission.

“I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to the many UN member states supporting this operation, including the Netherlands, which played a prominent role,” Berdowski said.

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher also acknowledged the Netherlands’ role in raising funds for the operation and praised Boskalis for its key role in the response. “A huge oil spill is looming that could have serious humanitarian, environmental and economic consequences. But we now have the chance to prevent this catastrophe,” said Schreinemacher.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, called the agreement a crucial milestone in Operation Stop Red Sea Spill and called on governments and companies to help raise the remaining $29 million needed for the complex rescue operation.

The project includes several phases, starting with the ndeavours Preparation in the Netherlands and his three-week trip to Djibouti. After the final preparations, the rescue team sets off safer for an initial on-site inspection before the oil is handed over to a United Nations-bought Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) that recently left China for the mission. After cleaning the safer tanks, the ship is towed to a green scrapyard under UN supervision.

Boskalis said oil operations at the site are expected to last about two months.

The FSO safer, which was built in 1976 and converted to a floating storage facility in 1987, contains an estimated 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil. Its deterioration since 2015 due to the conflict in Yemen poses a risk of explosion or rupture with serious consequences for the environment and people of the region.

The United Nations is warning that a major oil spill would devastate fishing communities on Yemen’s Red Sea coast and immediately affect the livelihoods of about 200,000 people. The cost of the cleanup alone is estimated at $20 billion, while disruption to shipping through the Bab al-Mandab Straits to the Suez Canal could cost billions more in global trade losses every day.

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