Dehai News

Maldives initiate dialogue with Eritrea to retrieve FSM tugs

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 13 June 2023

Maldives initiate dialogue with Eritrea to retrieve FSM tugs



One of the tugs that were held at Eritrean harbor for entering the East African country without permission; the vessel was forced to berth in the country due to stormy weather amid their voyage to the Maldives-- Photo: Fuel Supplies Maldives
One of the tugs that were held at Eritrean harbor for entering the East African country without permission; the vessel was forced to berth in the country due to stormy weather amid their voyage to the Maldives-- Photo: Fuel Supplies Maldives


Mohamed Rehan
13 June 2023


The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with the Eritrean government regarding the release of two tug boats owned by Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) that are currently detained in a harbor in Eritrea.

The tug boats, designed and built in Egypt, were on their way to the Maldives when they were forced to berth at the Eritrean harbor due to stormy weather on April 26. However, the Eritrean authorities detained the boats, alleging that they had entered the harbor without the necessary permits.

Although the crew members of the tug boats have returned to the Maldives, Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) has encountered challenges in transporting the vessels back to the Maldives and added that the company's officials are unable to visit Eritrea to resolve the issue.

A media official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had launched discussions with Eritrean government through diplomatic channels.

The two vessels that are currently detained in Eritrea were part of a larger commission by Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) to expand its fleet. FSM had commissioned a total of four vessels in 2019 to enhance its operations.

The vessels were developed at a cost of USD 753,000 each. They have a storage capacity of 180,000 liters of diesel and between 40,000 and 60,000 liters of petrol.
FSM had previously collected oil barges from Egypt: Only two barges were seized in Eritrea. Photo /PSM
Mohamed Gasam, managing director of FSM, a subsidiary of the government's main business company, STO, told Atoll Times that Eritrean port authorities seized two barges after they entered the country's port on April 26 without obtaining permission due to bad weather and rough seas.

"[While travelling in the Red Sea], the sea had gotten so rough that some of the crew members were vomiting and their condition deteriorated. One of the barge’s engines also sustained a problem. So, without a better alternative they were forced to venture closer to the shore in that situation," he said.

Gasim said the crew tried to contact the port authorities before entering, but could not establish a connection.

Gasam said the two are out of the four barges that were built as part of a 2019 agreement signed by the FSM with an Egyptian company. Out of the four barges, two were earlier completed and brought to the Maldives.
------


ERi-TV, Eritrea - ጸብጻብ ዑደት ፕረዚደንት ኢሳይያስ ኣፈወርቂ ኣብ ዋዕላ ደቡብ ኮርያ አፍሪቃ | Reportage on President Isaias Afwerki's visit to South Korea for the South Korea-Africa Summit, held from June 3-4

Dehai Events