UN / YEMEN FSO SAFER TANKER PRESSER

11-Aug-2023 00:02:57
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator, Achim Steiner, announced that “at 6 pm local time the pumps were turned off on the FSO Safer,” and said, “we have reached a milestone and perhaps one of the most significant preventative actions taken in recent years.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / YEMEN FSO SAFER TANKER PRESSER
TRT: 02:57
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN headquarters

11 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP):
“As I speak to you at 6 pm local time the pumps were turned off on the FSO Safer. The pumping of over 1 million barrels of oil from the FSO Safer to the replacement tanker has been accomplished. And with that, I think we have reached a milestone and perhaps one of the most significant preventative actions taken in recent years. Many of you have followed this story. You know that the potential impacts and consequences of a catastrophic oil spill from the FSO Safer would have affected hundreds of thousands of Yemenis immediately, destroyed their fisheries, possibly up to a quarter of a century, affected one of the main shipping routes in the world we have, the Suez Canal, not to mention the economies of neighbouring states.”
4. Wide shot, press room dais
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP):
“With the dedication and the professionalism of our colleagues in the UN, but also our partners, contractors, but also governments that in the end provided the critical pledges that allowed us to proceed with the financing of a humongous operation. I think today we stand before the world with a deep sense of gratitude but also a very simple and powerful message. When diplomacy and the convening power of the UN come together with its technical expertise, its operational capacity, and a world that is willing to cooperate even in a most challenging operating environment in the midst of a conflict zone, remarkable things become possible.”
6. Wide shot, press room dais
7. SOUNDBITE (English) David Gressly, Resident Coordinator in Yemen, United Nations:
“Today, we can say that the United Nations and a remarkably broad group of partners have succeeded in preventing the worst-case scenario of a catastrophic oil spill in the Red Sea. Over the past 80 days, SMIT salvage has pumped as much oil as possible from the FSO Safer to the MT Yemen, formerly known as the Nautica. More than 98 percent of the estimated 1.14 million barrels are now safely stored on the Yemen. The residual oil on the Safer is mixed with sediment and can't be pumped out at this point. It will be removed during the final cleaning of the Safer.”
8. Wide shot, press room dais
9. SOUNDBITE (English) David Gressly, Resident Coordinator in Yemen, United Nations:
“I can confirm that the hostage takers were al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. So, this is a threat that remains here in in Yemen and remains actually an increasing threat, their activities as we speak. In terms of their conditions, as I mentioned, they are in good health, good spirits, despite everything that they went through. But they went through a very difficult period of 18 months of isolation.”
10. Wide shot, end of presser
STORYLINE
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator, Achim Steiner, today (11 Aug) announced that “at 6 pm local time the pumps were turned off on the FSO Safer,” and said, “we have reached a milestone and perhaps one of the most significant preventative actions taken in recent years.”

Steiner said, “the potential impacts and consequences of a catastrophic oil spill from the FSO Safer would have affected hundreds of thousands of Yemenis immediately, destroyed their fisheries, possibly up to a quarter of a century, affected one of the main shipping routes in the world we have, the Suez Canal, not to mention the economies of neighbouring states.”

The Safer has been at risk of breaking up or exploding for years. A major spill from the vessel would have resulted in an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.

Briefing via video teleconference from Belin, Steiner said, “I think today we stand before the world with a deep sense of gratitude but also a very simple and powerful message. When diplomacy and the convening power of the UN come together with its technical expertise, its operational capacity, and a world that is willing to cooperate even in a most challenging operating environment in the midst of a conflict zone, remarkable things become possible.”

The cargo of oil aboard the FSO Safer has been pumped onto the replacement vessel MOST Yemen (formerly Nautica) in a ship-to-ship transfer that began on 25 July, following preparations on site for the operation that began in May by leading marine salvage company SMIT, a subsidiary of Boskalis. The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which contracted SMIT, is implementing the operation.

Also briefing remotely, from Yemen, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Yemen David Gressly said, “today, we can say that the United Nations and a remarkably broad group of partners have succeeded in preventing the worst-case scenario of a catastrophic oil spill in the Red Sea. Over the past 80 days, SMIT salvage has pumped as much oil as possible from the FSO Safer to the MT Yemen, formerly known as the Nautica. More than 98 percent of the estimated 1.14 million barrels are now safely stored on the Yemen. The residual oil on the Safer is mixed with sediment and can't be pumped out at this point. It will be removed during the final cleaning of the Safer.”

As much of the 1.14 million barrels has been extracted as possible. However, less than 2 percent of the original oil cargo remains mixed in with sediment that will be removed during the final cleaning of the Safer.

Gressly also announced the release this week of the five UN personnel who were kidnapped in the southern governorate of Abyan on 11 February 2022.

He said, “I can confirm that the hostage takers were al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. So, this is a threat that remains here in in Yemen and remains actually an increasing threat, their activities as we speak. In terms of their conditions, as I mentioned, they are in good health, good spirits, despite everything that they went through. But they went through a very difficult period of 18 months of isolation.”

The four national and one international staff are receiving support.
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