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Today, Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer presented the “Low water on the Rhine” action plan including 8 measures. This plan was developed in cooperation with the companies that depend on the Rhine, with the aim of creating reliably calculable conditions for the transport of goods on the Rhine.

Federal Minister Scheuer said:

We need more ships, not congestion and more H2O, not CO2. The extremely dry periods of the past years have shown one thing: if ships cannot navigate the Rhine, petrol stations stay empty and businesses have to slow down their production. In order to ensure the supply of the population and safeguard Germany’s position as a place for business also in the future, we have developed an action plan including eight specific measures. It is obvious that we must act now if we want to keep the transport conditions at a constantly high level, also with a view to the changes in the climate.

Michael Heinz, member of the BASF Board and site manager in Ludwigshafen said:

This 8-point plan focuses on the Rhine. This is a strong signal. However, we know that this will certainly not be enough: all modes of transport, road, rail, inland waterway and maritime transport, are essential for a stable economic development of our country. Industry needs reliable transport routes to guarantee the supply of raw materials and the delivery to customers. Germany’s entire infrastructure needs a new boost and, more importantly, new investments. Only then will we be able to meet the challenges of the future.

Premal Dessai, spokesperson for the Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG Board said:

We are very happy that the Federal Minister of Transport has taken the initiative with this 8-point plan and launched a detailed infrastructure strategy for the Rhine. 80 percent of our raw materials are transported via the Rhine. Functioning transport routes via the Rhine are crucially needed, if we want to compete successfully. For this reason, we welcome every action taken to strengthen the relevant infrastructure.

Most goods along the Rhine are transported by inland waterway vessels rather than by trains or HGVs. The Rhine is Germany’s most important and environmentally friendly transport route; inland waterway vessels themselves are transport giants.
The four areas of action identified by the plan, “supply of information”, “transport and logistics”, “infrastructure” and “long-term solutions” include a total of eight measures to meet the challenges the Rhine is facing due to climate change. These measures range from improving operational forecasts through developing vessel types suitable for low-water conditions to accelerating the implementation of infrastructure measures and societal dialogue. For more details please go to: www.bmvi.de/aktionsplan-niedrigwasser-rhein (German only)