The UNDP declared on Monday that it has successfully secured the insurance for the FSO Safer, an ageing oil tanker that has been moored off the Yemen coast.
The tanker that carries about 1.14 million barrels of oil and is anchored in the Red Sea off Hodeidah’s coast has not undergone any maintenance effort since 2015 owing to the civil war in Yemen.
The insurance, arranged by the insurance broker dubbed Howden, is expected to cover the cost of any losses or damages that can occur during the oil transfer from the FSO Safer to yet another tanker, the UNDP mentioned in a press release on its official website.
Insurance became an essential element of facilitating this salvage operation to go on, Achim Steiner, the UNDP Administrator, was quoted to be saying.
Without it, the mission would not proceed.
The FSO Safer is a conventional floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel built in 1976. It had been anchored off Yemen’s coast in 1984 to store oil the Marib oil field yielded. The oil tanker was mainly designed to be completely emptied and regularly maintained; however, the war in Yemen has made it difficult to do so.
A UN engineering vessel reached the site of the FSO Safer on 30 May to make necessary preparations for the transfer of its oil. The transfer is expected to start in the coming days, per media reports.
The UN has reportedly warned that a spill from the FSO Safer could devastate the Red Sea and Yemen’s coastline.
The spill could also release four times as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster that took the lives of thousands of marine mammals and seabirds and resulted in extensive environmental damage.
References: The Economic Times, XinhuaNet
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