YEMEN Press Agency

UN retreats back from saving ‘Safer Floating Tanker’ in Red Sea

SANAA, May 12 (YPA) – Informed sources revealed a UN retreat to start saving the Safer floating tanker in the Red Sea, despite the arrival of the oil tanker “Nautica” to replace the Safer tanker in the middle of this week to Yemen, according to the United Nations.

The Lebanese newspaper “Al-Akhbar” reported that the process of transporting crude oil from the dilapidated Safer ship, which is anchored eight miles from the port of Ras Issa on the Red Sea coast in Hodeida province, will not begin late this month according to the previous UN rescue plan.

The newspaper attributed the reason to the failure of a donor conference organized by UK and the Netherlands last Thursday, to obtain $ 29 million, noting that the world body said it needed it urgently to be able to start the process in the first half of this year.

According to the paper, the United Nations has only earned $5 million, in addition to receiving $3 million in funding before the conference, which means it still needs a minimum of $14 million to begin the process of defusing the threat to the marine environment in the Red Sea and its riparian countries.

The paper said that the amount of oil carried by “Safer” (about 1.1 million barrels), equivalent to four times to the oil that leaked from the tanker “Exxon Valdez” in 1989 off Alaska in the United States, according to environmental experts, while any oil spill from the ship may cause the closure of Bab al-Mandab and suspension of desalination plants on the Saudi Farasan Island, all the way to the coast of Jeddah.

According to the paper, the ship “Nautica” purchased to replace Safer Tanker turned out to be dilapidated, which prompted the Ministry of Transport in Sanaa to demand to check the ship before entering Yemeni waters.