Reduction in Rhine water level threatens German production and transportation – Press TV

A container vessel passes the Loreley Rock at low water levels as recent dry weather continues, that prevented cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the river Rhine, in Sankt Goar, Germany, July 19, 2022.(Photo by Reuters)

Many businesses that operate along Germany’s Rhine, one of Europe’s key waterways, said that the decrease in the level of water in this river has affected their production.

Most of Germany’s water transport from coal to car parts, food to chemicals estimated at 200 million tons is carried out through this river, which runs about 760 miles from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

The decrease in water level due to drought increased shipping cost because vessels cannot sail on the river fully loaded, vessel brokers said on Friday.

The impending crisis could lead energy companies to cut their output, according to one of the country’s biggest gas companies.

Currently, some production businesses are on the verge of closing due to the fact that the delivery of goods along Rhine has decreased.

The river experienced a dangerous drought once in 2018 for six months. Cologne’s Waterway and Shipping Authority has said the “unusually low levels” for this time of year means barges have had to reduce their cargo “in order to be able to navigate the river”. This will increase the price and reduce the speed of water transport in Germany.

On the other hand, due to Russia’s war with Ukraine, Germany has reduced its gas imports from Russia by about 80% and has prepared itself for gas rationing in this country’s harsh winters. Now the drought of the Rhine River can cause a heavy blow to energy production in the country.

Uniper, one of the largest distributors of Russian gas in Germany, has recently warned that its production may be affected by drought in the coming months due to its use of coal and its dependence on water transportation through the Rhine River.

The daily water level of the main rivers in the country has become especially important for the German industrial authorities, who are looking to control the economic stagnation in the midst of the crisis in Russia and Ukraine these days.

Drought has intensified in recent months in a large part of Europe and has affected manufacturing and water-dependent industries.


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