Skip to main content

FSO SAFER - Urgent call for equipment for oil spill contingency plan

FSO SAFER

IMO is urging Member States to contribute equipment to help UN-led efforts to prevent a possible catastrophic oil spill from FSO SAFER, an ageing and rapidly decaying floating storage offshore (FSO) unit moored 4.8 nautical miles off the Red Sea coast of Yemen. IMO is providing expertise in oil spill preparedness and response as part of the contingency planning for a possible oil spill from the FSO SAFER, in line with its mandate set out in the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) (See 1 below).

A converted super tanker,  FSO SAFER, contains an estimated 150,000 metric tonnes (approximately 1.1 million barrels) of crude oil, four times the amount spilled during the Exxon Valdez incident in 1989.  It has been moored at Ras Isa since 1988 where it had been receiving, storing and exporting crude oil flowing from the Marib oil fields. But in 2015, due to the war in Yemen, production, offloading and maintenance operations on FSO SAFER were suspended. 

FSO SAFER has not been inspected since then, but all assessments of its structural integrity suggest it has now deteriorated to the extent that it is beyond repair, and at imminent risk of breaking up or exploding. The danger is of a significant oil spill that would surpass Yemen’s capacity and resources to effectively respond.

On 9 March, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement to purchase a very large crude carrier (VLCC), Nautica, to take on the oil from  FSO SAFER by emergency ship-to-ship transfer. Such operations are complex and inherently risky. 

Nautica left Zhousha in China on 6 April and is expected to arrive in the Red Sea in early May. 

Contingency planning for the transfer operation is, therefore, intensifying. One critical gap identified in Yemen’s preparedness to respond to an oil spill is the lack of specialized equipment within the country. 

Because of lengthy lead times for the manufacture and acquisition of oil spill response equipment, IMO is seeking contributions of used or near end-of-life spill response equipment that can be transported to the region within weeks.

An indicative list of the required equipment annexed to Circular Letter No.4714 (See 2 below) includes items for the containment and recovery and the resource protection aspects of the operation, such as booms to contain any spill and oil skimmer brushes, as well as oil dispersants and rapid erection, self-standing storage tanks.

Information on who to contact with expressions of interest, or for additional information, can be found here. (See 3 below).

An oil spill from  FSO SAFER would be a major humanitarian and environmental disaster likely to heavily impact the north-western coastline of Yemen, including the Yemeni Islands in the Red Sea, and Kamaran Island in particular – an area that encompasses vulnerable ecosystems. There is also potential for oil to drift and impact neighbouring countries, including Djibouti, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. 

Many Yemeni coastal communities that could be affected already rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs, and a significant oil spill would seriously impact on the health and livelihoods of the people relying on resources from the sea. It could also severely disrupt operations at Yemen’s Hudaydah port, the point of entry for essential imported food, fuel and life-saving supplies. UNDP estimates the cost of clean-up alone would be $20 billion.

Further information on the FSO SAFER is available here: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/FSO-SAFER-oil-spill-risk.aspx

Illustration per UN Yemen ©.

  1. https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/Pages/Pollution-Response.aspx
  2. https://wwwcdn.imo.org/localresources/en/MediaCentre/WhatsNew/Documents/Circular%20Letter%20No.4714%20-%20Fso%20Safer%20-%20Un%20Call%20For%20Contributions%20Towards%20Oil%20Spill%20ResponseEquipment%20(Secretariat).pdf
  3. https://wwwcdn.imo.org/localresources/en/MediaCentre/WhatsNew/Documents/Circular%20Letter%20No.4714%20-%20Fso%20Safer%20-%20Un%20Call%20For%20Contributions%20Towards%20Oil%20Spill%20ResponseEquipment%20(Secretariat).pdf
Posted on: in:

Latest News & Events

The main approach channel and Berths 8&9 at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe have been deepened to improve access for the world’s largest container ships.

The announcement was formally made today (4 October 2023) during the maiden call at the port of its namesake the OOCL Felixstowe, the latest in a series of 24,188 TEU mega container vessels operated by Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (“OOCL”).

Under the patronage of the Minsitry of Energy & Infrastructure and hosted by Fichte & Co and RAK Ports…

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
Ship image
Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
dock image
Emergency Management
Environment

Become a Member

Join the world’s premier professional body for harbour masters and receive up-to-date information on the industry and access to the members' area of the website.

Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor of the IHMA today and reap the benefits for your business:

  • Worldwide exposure
  • Prominence on the IHMA website
  • Instant access to your services and products for your existing and potential customers
  • Access to the key decision makers on marine operations in Ports – the Harbour Master
  • The opportunity to showcase your services and products at an international congress every two years

Be a part of the future of a vibrant, respected, professional and influential maritime organisation...IHMA

Download EHMC's Newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ex vix insolens oportere accusamus, mea nulla aliquip virtute id, et commodo debitis voluptua mel. Vel ut doming scaevola, habemus gloriatur elaboraret ei pro.

Download archived

EHMC newsletter

Our Sponsors

Latest Events

QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai - Grand Foyer

Harbour Master & Towgae Conference

Hollywood Beach Marriott
Navtech Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Navtech Conference 2023

Attention deep water and ocean towing masters, pilots, fleet management administrators, regulators and navigation operations professionals!

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the maritime industry’s premier annual navigation forum!

Navtech, 5th and 6th December 2023, Hollywood Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Learn about developments in navigational best practices, technology and regulation.

  • Engage with the regulatory and manufacturing sectors about your experiences, and your challenges.

  • Get access to the operations sector that actually uses navigation hardware and software.

Tanger Med Port Centre, Morocco
IHMA Congress 2024

Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress EventBrite Page.

Introducing Tanger Med

Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.

Cargoes handled

Containers

In 2021 7,173,870 TEU were handled in Tanger Med port complex, up by 24% compared to 2020. This traffic results from the steady increase of Tanger Med 2 port after the successive commissioning of the terminals TC4 in 2019 and TC3 in 2021.

This result confirms the leadership of Tanger Med in the Mediterranean and Africa, and consolidates the position of this major hub for global maritime alliances led respectively by Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Hapag Lloyd.

Tonnage

In 2021 101,054,713 tons of goods were handled for the first time in Tanger Med port complex, an increase of 25% compared to 2020. Indeed, the tonnage handled by Tanger Med port complex represents more than 50% of the overall tonnage handled by all Moroccan ports.

Trucks

The port complex handled 407,459 trucks in 2021, a rise of 14% compared to 2020. This traffic was mainly driven by the resumption of industrial exports as well as by the good performance of the agricultural season and agro-industrial exports.

Cars

Regarding new vehicles 429,509 were handled at the two vehicle terminals of Tanger Med port in 2021, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. The traffic included: 278,651 Renault vehicles including 250,532 for export. A rise in exports of PSA vehicles totalled 100,030 cars.

Liquid bulk

Liquid bulk traffic has increased by 9% compared to 2020. It recorded a total traffic of 8,744,900 tons of hydrocarbons handled.

Solid bulk

Solid bulk traffic recorded a total of 342,804 tons processed, an increase of 13% compared to 2020 driven by the traffic of steel coils, wind blades and grain.

Traffic

Growing maritime traffic saw 10,902 vessels calling at Tanger Med in 2021, up by 12% from 2020. Over the past year, the port complex has welcomed nearly 929 mega-ships (over 290 metres loa).

The position of Tanger Med

This performance above accomplished during 2021 affirms the position of the port complex as a major strategic hub emphasising its role as a key logistics platform serving the nations logistic competitiveness.

Achievements are the result of the continued collaboration of all partners of Tanger Med port complex, particularly ship owners, concessionaires, local authorities and administrations.

 

Crown Towers, Perth, Australia
AMPI

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

Mayflower Park, Southampton, UK
SeaWork UK 2023

SeaWork

The 24th edition of Europe’s largest on-water commercial marine and workboat exhibition, is a proven platform to build business networks. Delivering an international audience of visitors supported by our trusted partners, Seawork is the meeting place for the commercial marine and workboat sector. 

Seawork encompasses 12,000m2 of undercover halls featuring 600 exhibitors and over 70 vessels and items of floating plant & equipment on the quayside and pontoons

Features include:

  • The European Commercial Marine Awards (ECMAs) and Innovations Showcase.
  • The Conference programme helps visitors to keep up to date with the latest challenges and emerging opportunities.
  • The Careers & Training Day on Thursday 15 June 2023 delivers a programme focused on careers in the commercial marine industry.
  • Speed@Seawork on Monday 12 June at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes offers a sector specific event for fast vessels operating at high speed for security interventions and Search & Rescue.

For more information and to register to attend see:

Seawork.com

2023 Dates & Times
09:30 - 17:30 Tuesday 13 June 2023
09:30 - 17:30 Wednesday 14 June 2023
09:30 - 16:00 Thursday 15 June 2023

Exhibition Address
Mayflower Park
Southampton, 
SO14 2AN, United Kingdom

Contact

Commercial Marine Sales Team:
Tel: +44 1329 825 335 sales@seawork.com
  Exhibition Manager:  Fay Reeve
  Tel: +44 1329 825 335  
freeve@seawork.com
  Press, PR & Social Media Team:
  Tel: +44 1329 825 335
  
press@seawork.com

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.

Download the IHMA Constitution

The IHMA constitution sets out the establishment of a region of the IHMA, the committee role and authority, its formation and management.

Latest News & Events

Harbour Master & Towage Conference

Under the patronage of the Minsitry of Energy & Infrastructure and hosted by Fichte & Co and RAK Ports in cooperation with KOTUG.

FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

The main approach channel and Berths 8&9 at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe have been deepened to improve access for the world’s largest container ships.

The announcement was formally made today (4 October 2023) during the maiden call at the port of its namesake the OOCL Felixstowe, the latest in a series of 24,188 TEU mega container vessels operated by Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (“OOCL”).

Under the patronage of the Minsitry of Energy & Infrastructure and hosted by Fichte & Co and RAK Ports…