Rhine is getting shallower Uniper could soon curb electricity production

3 mins read

Low water is making navigation on the Rhine increasingly difficult. The supply to two hard coal-fired power plants along the river also has to be restricted. The operator Uniper is therefore raising the prospect of “irregularities in operations”.

Water levels on the Rhine continue to fall, threatening inland shipping and the transport of important goods – now also the power supply. The low water level could force energy company Uniper to shut down power production at two hard-coal-fired power plants.

By Sept. 7, there could be irregularities in operations at the Datteln 4 power plant in North Rhine-Westphalia and at Staudinger 5 in Hesse, the company said. Due to the low water levels, less coal could be transported to the power plants.

Due to the ongoing drought, Germany is already heading towards the low water of the century in 2018. “The current low water is increasingly hampering freight shipping in Germany,” said the Federal Association of German Inland Shipping (BDB). Shipping is one of the “system-relevant variables” in the transport of coal, grain, animal feed, building materials, mineral oil, containers and industrial raw materials, it said.

Water levels fall steadily

The water levels, which have been falling for weeks, especially on the Rhine, Elbe and Danube, are a cause for concern and mean that ships can only carry part of their usual cargo to avoid running aground. The historic low water levels of 2018 have not yet been reached, but levels continue to fall. The Kaub gauge, which is important for Upper Rhine traffic, shows a level of 55 centimeters (2018: 25 cm). In Duisburg-Ruhrort on the Lower Rhine, the level stood at 1.85 meters (2018: 1.53 meters).

In Cologne, the Rhine level is 1.03 meters and, according to forecasts, will fall below the one-meter mark by tomorrow Friday at the latest. The lowest known water level was measured there in October 2018 at 69 centimeters. The long-term average is just under three meters. The water levels are not the same as the water depth, but give the experts important information about the navigability of the waterways.

The source used in the preparation of the news: https://www.n-tv.de

Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea- fikrikadim.com

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