EU offers oil recovery equipment to support U.S. in combating oil spill
European Union (EU) said Friday that it had offered special recovery equipment to help the United States in combating oil spill in Gulf of Mexico.
On Thursday afternoon, the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Center (MIC) received a request for assistance from the U.S. coast guard to provide specific types of oil recovery equipment.
The coast guard identified an urgent need for three complete sets of rigid sweeping arms, which are specific types of skimmers that can be attached directly to a ship in order to recover oil.
The MIC reacted immediately and forwarded the request to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Within less than one hour, Spain made a first offer of assistance, which was followed by offers from EMSA and the Netherlands.
The MIC has consolidated the offers and is ready to coordinate a swift and urgent operation to gather all the necessary equipment and ship it directly by air to Houston and New Orleans.
"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends as they work to deal with this environmental disaster," said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
"We have already developed an excellent cooperation on emergency response and this positive reaction from Europe to the call for equipment for the Gulf of Mexico is an international solidarity in dealing with ecological disasters," he added.
Three arms are to be used in the oil spill recovery operations on the deepwater horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico and should be lent to the U.S. for a period of 1-3 months.
All costs associated with the transport, handling and replacement of the arms and related equipment will be covered by a U.S. contracted company.
The MIC together with the EMSA has been monitoring the situation over the last weeks and also stands ready to send a team of experts to facilitate coordination of the EU assets' deployment on the ground.
[Source: Xinhua, Brussels, 28May10]
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