The U.N. has purchased a crude carrier to remove 1.1 million barrels of oil from a decaying vessel off the coast of Yemen to avert an environmental disaster.
The U.N. says that the ship purchased from major tanker company Euronav was undergoing routine maintenance in China and would arrive for the operation in early May.
The U.N. had been searching for years for a solution and appealed for donations. The planned operation is estimated to cost $129m, of which $75m has been received, and another $20m has been pledged, it said.
The stranded ship – the FSO Safer – was left abandoned off the port of Hodeida after Yemen’s civil war broke out in 2015. It has not been serviced since.
The U.N. has warned that the tanker’s structural integrity has significantly deteriorated and is at risk of exploding.
The conflict in Yemen has reportedly killed more than 150,000 people and left more than 23 million in need of aid.