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The United Nations begins the process of emptying the Safer oil reservoir in mid-May

Muhammad Jamal wrote

Friday, March 10, 2023 12:13 AM

The United Nations has set a new date for the start of the implementation of the first phase of the plan to save the dilapidated Safer oil reservoir, which threatens to cause the largest environmental disaster in the Red Sea, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Resident Representative of the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Program in Yemen, David Gresley, said that a replacement oil tanker is scheduled to arrive in Yemeni territorial waters in the Red Sea in the middle of next May, in preparation for the start of the process of unloading 1.1 million barrels of crude oil in the Safer floating tank, which is moored off the coast. The western coasts of Yemen.

During his meeting in Aden with Yemeni officials headed by the Minister of Transport of the internationally recognized government, Abd al-Salam Hamid, the UN official stated that the United Nations is in the process of completing the purchase of the replacement tanker during the current month of March, provided that its arrival to Yemen will be in the middle of next May, after completing all legal and technical procedures.

During his meeting with the Yemeni side, Gresley reviewed the technical aspects of the contingency plan that the government had drawn up to address the potential risks of any oil leakage during the transportation and unloading process from the Safer reservoir.

During the meeting, the Yemeni Minister of Transport stressed the necessity of dispatching specialized marine engineers from the Public Authority for Maritime Affairs and the Safer Company to inspect the purchased replacement ship to assess its technical condition.

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And he stressed the importance of granting the General Authority for Maritime Affairs in the interim capital, Aden, all the tasks and powers entrusted to it, such as granting permits, certificates, and periodic inspection of the purchased ship and the crew working on it, similar to the mechanism of its activity on the Safer tank. The Minister of Transport stated that the ministry, in coordination with all relevant authorities, will provide the necessary facilities and transactions to start implementing the process of withdrawing crude oil from the dilapidated Safer reservoir to the purchased ship.

He indicated the Yemeni government’s keenness to complete the procedures for signing the United Nations authorization agreement for the process of unloading the Safer tanker, expressing his great appreciation for the role played by the United Nations in order to complete the plan and neutralize the risks of the reservoir, as well as its efforts to mobilize international funds to implement the plan and spare Yemen and all countries bordering the Red Sea. The repercussions of a serious environmental disaster.

He touched on the basic precautions of pollution control and other means required to implement the national emergency plan to deal with any oil spill that may occur during the process of transferring crude oil stocks from the Safer ship to the replacement oil tanker.