Home » Posts tagged 'rhine river'

Tag Archives: rhine river

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Post Archives by Category

Germany’s Industrial Heartland Faces Crisis As Rhine River May Become Impassable By Friday

Germany’s Industrial Heartland Faces Crisis As Rhine River May Become Impassable By Friday

Water levels on the Rhine River are nearing dangerously low levels, and new forecasts expect Europe’s most critical waterway for inland commodity shipments via barges could be impassable by the end of the week.

The river at Kaub, Germany, is 47 centimeters (18.5 inches) on Wednesday and is expected to drop to the critical depth of 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) by Friday, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. There is even the possibility water levels could fall as low as 37 centimeters (14.5 inches) during the weekend.

Below 40 centimeters would mean barges at the key transit point in Germany would no longer be able to pass and restrict shipments of energy products and other commodities along Europe’s most crucial waterway amid the worst energy shortage in decades.

In the next couple of days, if forecasts are correct, Germany’s industrial heartland may risk a repeat of the disruption seen during the river’s historical low in 2018. Rhine River becoming impassible would certainly exacerbate Europe’s ongoing energy crisis.

The Rhine snakes about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from the Swiss Alps through Europe’s largest industrial areas and has already dented cargo shipments for chemicals giant BASF SE, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG, and utility Uniper SE. Bloomberg lists the most exposed companies to low Rhine River levels:

Uniper warned low water levels have reduced barge coal shipments to a major power plant. The utility said its 510-megawatt Staudinger-5 coal-fired power plant had seen fewer and fewer barge shipments of coal due to dwindling low water levels that could soon result in “irregular operation.”

Bloomberg outlines the most transported goods on the waterway. If water levels fall below 40 centimeters, companies must use rail and trucking for transportation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany’s Uniper Warns Of Possible “Irregular Operation” At Major Power Plant As Rhine River Runs Dry

Germany’s Uniper Warns Of Possible “Irregular Operation” At Major Power Plant As Rhine River Runs Dry

Germany’s Uniper SE, the country’s largest utility (recently bailed out by state-owned lender KfW), warned Thursday that plunging water levels on the Rhine River have reduced barge shipments of coal to a key power plant, exacerbating an energy crunch as power prices soar to record highs, reported Bloomberg.

The river at Kaub, Germany, is around 21.6 inches (55 centimeters) on Thursday and is expected to drop to 18.5 inches (47 centimeters) by Saturday, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. Currently, Europe’s most crucial waterway is 5.9 inches (15 centimeters) from being impassible, the threshold where barge traffic is 15.7 inches (40 centimeters).

Uniper said the low water levels could force “irregular operation” at its 510-megawatt Staudinger-5 coal-fired power plant through the first half of September because fewer and fewer barges have been able to deliver coal as stockpiles dwindle. Rhine water levels below 40 centimeters at Kaub would halt shipments via inland waterways to the power plant, forcing shipments by land.

On Wednesday, Riverlake, a vessel broker, said, “fewer and fewer barges can pass through Kaub.”

Uniper’s warning about low water levels impacting operations at a coal-fired power plant is more evidence Rhine troubles are exacerbating Germany’s worst energy-supply crunch in decades as Russia reduces natural gas flows via Nord Stream 1 to just 20% capacity.

Meanwhile, German power for next year soared to a record intraday high of 410.57 euros per megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange on Thursday on the prospects of a worsening energy crisis.

Besides Uniper, here’s what other German companies are saying about low water levels on the Rhine and how they seek alternatives for transporting goods (list courtesy of Bloomberg):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany’s Energy Crisis About To Get Even Worse As Rhine Water Levels Plummet

Germany’s Energy Crisis About To Get Even Worse As Rhine Water Levels Plummet

What has already been a year from hell for Germany, which is suffering energy hyperinflation as a result of Europe’s sanctions on Russia, and which is “facing the biggest crisis the country has every had” according to the president of the German employers association, is about to get even worse as the declining water level of the Rhine river, which has historically been a key infrastructure transit artery across Germany, continues to fall and as it does, the flow of commodities to inland Europe is starting to buckle threatening to make an already historic crisis even worse.

The alarming lack of water is contributing to oil product supply problems in Switzerland and preventing at least two power plants in Germany from getting all the coal they need, and what’s more, the continent’s sizzling summer temperatures are forecast to climb even higher in the coming week, leading to even lower water levels.

The 800-mile (1,288-kilometer) Rhine river runs from Switzerland all the way to the North Sea and is used to transport tens of millions of tons of commodities through inland Europe. But with water levels at their lowest for the time of year in 15 years, there is a limit how much fuel, coal and other vital cargo that barges can carry up and down the river.

Low water levels on the Rhine River mean that barges hauling middle distillate-type oil products – typically gasoil/diesel – past Kaub in Germany, are limited to loading about 30% of capacity, according to maritime brokerage services firm Riverlake.

A barge loading in the energy hub of Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (or ARA), which can haul 2.5k tons when fully laden, is restricted to taking on about 800 tons if sailing to destinations beyond Kaub…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rhine River At Dangerously Low Water Levels Could Cause Production Hell For German Firms

Rhine River At Dangerously Low Water Levels Could Cause Production Hell For German Firms

A series of heatwaves across Central Europe this summer has brought record-breaking temperatures to Germany that sparked dangerously low water levels on the Rhine river, one of the continents most important shipping routes, which could decrease manufacturing and disrupt supply chains that might tip Germany into recession.

Water levels on the Rhine last summer made some parts of it unnavigableThis disrupted supply chains in Germany’s industrial heartland that use the river for shipping.

Reuters recently reported that the shortage of rainfall this summer and scorching hot temperatures across Germany and France had made some parts of the Rhine impassable for fully loaded cargo ships.

“Approximately 80% of all goods that are transported via domestic water transport go along the River Rhine. Thus, it is Germany’s most important waterway,” Robert Lehmann, an economist at Germany’s influential Ifo Institute research center, told CNBC Tuesday.

“Coal, oil, and gas or chemical products are transported with a much higher intensity: 10% to 30%. These are the main goods at the beginning of important value-added chains, thus, low water levels at the River Rhine can immediately lead to restrictions in industrial production.”

Low water levels on the river could have severe economic consequences for Germany’s economy that is already dealing with an industrial recession.

New economic data on Thursday showed Germany’s manufacturing sector plunged in July with factories producing goods at the slowest rate in seven years and export orders crashed to the lowest in more than a decade.

Germany’s automobile industry has been the most significant factor in the industrial slowdown, low water levels on the Rhine have also been seen as a factor.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Click on image to purchase @ FriesenPress