Disasters & Accidents

German shipping hit by low levels of Rhine due to drought

Berlin, Aug 13 (EFE).- The level of the Rhine has fallen to 36 centimeters at Kaub, about 75km from Frankfurt, further complicating shipping along the key waterway.

The 36 centimeters recorded on Saturday, according to the Federal Water and River Transport Administration (WSV), is 6 centimeters less than the previous day. There is no relief forecast, as no significant rainfall is expected in the coming days.

The situation on Germany’s longest river has complicated the transport of raw materials and fuels, a critical issue amid a looming energy crisis.

Coal is currently being used to offset the energy that would come from gas to achieve the storage target deemed necessary to secure winter supplies.

Gas storage is now at 75 % of capacity, which has been achieved ahead of schedule.

The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz had set three targets for gas storage: 75 % on November 1, 85 % in October and 95 % in December.

Until these levels are reached, and in the event of a drastic reduction in Russian gas supplies, coal is being used, making the Rhine crucial to coping with the energy crisis precipitated by the war in Ukraine.

As long as the level of the river remains so low, river transport is carried out with reduced loads, with considerable losses for the sector. EFE


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