08 December 2011 13:20 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Small vessels with a maximum draught of about 2.5m can now sail fully-loaded on the German stretch of the River Rhine after water levels rose following rainfall, an official said on Thursday.
The draught is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the vessel's keel.
Vessels with larger draughts of 3.5-4m, however, must wait until water levels rise further before they can sail on the ?xml:namespace>
"A vessel with a 3.5m of maximum draught needs a water level of 2.5m at the gauging station in Kaub [Germany]. The water level in Kaub is currently about 1.8m," said Florian Krekel, a spokesman for German inland shipping authority Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Bingen.
Krekel said the water level has been rising since Sunday and that it will reach the mean annual water level in a few days.
"Lower water levels have ended, the situation is normalising," he added.
Following one of the driest Novembers on record, the low water levels on the River Rhine has been limiting transport and damaging demand in some European refined product barge markets, as well as driving up logistical costs for shippers of chemicals and other commodities.
In the chemical industry, inland river shipping is the preferred method of transport for many hazardous goods, such as methanol, acids, fuels and liquefied gases, according to shipping trade group Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt (BDB).
In its 2010/11 annual report, BDB said that in 2010, 21.2m tonnes of chemical goods were shipped on
Methanol industry participants even feared the low water levels could force an end to shipping on a stretch of the
Additional reporting by
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections