IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has urged support for an UN-coordinated plan to address the oil spill risks from teh FSO SAFER, moored off Yemen. The plan calls for installing a long-term replacement for the decrepit tanker within an 18-month period, and an emergency operation to transfer the oil to a safe temporary vessel over four months, thus eliminating any immediate threat.
Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization, said:
“In the face of an impending environmental disaster, we must do all we can to prevent it. We must act now. The FSO Safer is a deteriorating floating storage and offloading unit moored off Yemen, with an estimated one million barrels of crude oil onboard.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been supporting contingency planning efforts in the region to mitigate the severity of impacts should there be a spill. An oil spill from FSO Safer would be a humanitarian and environmental disaster, with a huge economic impact on the shipping and maritime industry throughout the region.
The United Nations has a coordinated plan to mitigate the risk by transferring the oil to a safe temporary vessel. This needs financial resources.
I urge full support and participation in the 11 May pledging conference, organized by the Government of the Netherlands and the United Nations. The time is now. The risks are high. We must act to avert disaster.”