18 January 2011 12:58 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--A 70km stretch of the river Rhine in ?xml:namespace>
The closure was causing major disruption to river traffic, said Florian Krekel, a spokesman for shipping authority Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Bingen.
“We have received a lot of calls from different companies which are depending on deliveries,” he said.
The authority had planned to allow restricted passage of some vessels upstream of the accident site, near St Goarshausen, on Tuesday, but this had now been put back until Thursday.
“The sunken ship is moving and we can’t put it at risk by the passage of other ships,” Krekel said over the telephone.
The river is closed between Bingen, near Mainz, and Engers, just north of Koblenz.
Salvage work cannot begin until four cranes, which are currently en route to the site, were in place. Two were expected on Thursday and a third on Sunday, but Krekel said he did not know when the fourth would arrive.
The river would then remain closed until the salvage operation – expected to last between two and three weeks – was completed, he said.
The Waldhof, which was carrying 2,378 tonnes of sulphuric acid, capsized on 13 January while en route from German chemical major BASF’s production hub in
Chemical industry sources were predicting problems if the river remained closed beyond 18 January, but so far they have reported no major impact.
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