Memorandum of Understanding
An MOU was signed on 5 March 2022 with a plan that foresees the provision of a new vessel similar to the FSO Safer Tanker. It was agreed that due to the urgency to avert an oil spill , the oil will be initially transferred into a temporary vessel in the proximity of the Safer Tanker. (See right rail.) Assessments have been taken for experts and organizations in the private sector to ensure UNDP can swiftly take the necessary action for to help facilitate the transfer of the oil to the second vessel.
Through the Peace Support Facility (PSF) and the Country Office, UNDP is supporting the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) in discussions with Member States and donors on the donor FSO Safer Pledging Conference. UNDP continues to be committed to use the PSF as donors’ preferred vehicle for this initiative and further support to mobilizing the necessary resources.
UNDP is committed and ready – under the leadership of the UN RC/HC – to engage in the FSO SAFER initiative with a view of preventing an oil spill with catastrophic ecological, environmental, and humanitarian consequences in the Red Sea and beyond. Nearly 12 million people’s lives and livelihoods could be directly impacted by the oil spill, fisheries depleted, and imports of commercial and humanitarian supplies severely affected if the ports of Hodeidah and Salif operations are disrupted due to the oil spill.
A Coordination Committee has been established to oversee the operational assessment and planning, along with the Implementation of the ship-to-ship operation. Options include:
- Leasing a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) for five years with a minimum capacity of DWT 200,000
- Pump the oil from the SAFER to the VLCC allowing for further discussion and decisions
- FSO SAFER would be cleaned, towed away, and sold for scrap, covering part of the costs of the salvage and transfer operation
UNDP and a Dutch-funded team of experts are working on a detailed proposal for the contractual relationship and the operation, which would be funded through the PSF. UNDP’s role will be to procure the private sector services, procure the VLCC and help facilitate an overall enabling environment for this operation under the leadership of the Special Envoy and the RC/HC.
UNDP has worked with local authorities and government officials to develop a contingency plan to respond to any possible disastrous leak from the Safer Tanker. UNDP has worked closely with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as with expertise drawn from the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) to develop this plan.