UN buys huge ship to avert catastrophic oil spill
March 10, 2023 - The UN has purchased a crude carrier to remove 1.1 million barrels of oil from a decaying vessel off the coast of Yemen, in a bid to avert an environmental disaster.
The UN says that the ship, which it purchased from major tanker company Euronav, was undergoing routine maintenance in China and would arrive for the operation in early May.
The UN had been searching for years for a solution and appealed for donations. The planned operation is estimated to cost $129m of which $75m has been received and another $20m has been pledged, it said.
The stranded ship – the FSO Safer – was left abandoned off the port of Hodeida after Yemen’s civil war broke out in 2015. It has not been serviced since.
The UN has warned that the tanker’s structural integrity has significantly deteriorated and it is at risk of exploding.
The conflict in Yemen has reportedly killed more than 150,000 people and left more than 23 million in need of aid.