In an interview to Reuters, manager Arnd Koefler informed that the company has reworked emergency plans for personnel, exploring alternative modes of transport and barge modernisations, and expanding storage and reception facilities.
In the end of 2018, water levels on the Rhine saw the lowest water level in more than a decade for the time of year, raising obstacles to fuel supplies to Europe. In October 2018, Rhine's water lever was at its lowest level for the time since 2006. This affected trade, as vessels had to sail partly loaded due to shallow waters.
In the beginning of 2019, after a long summer drought, the traffic at one of the shallowest points on the Rhine was halted for approximately a month, resulting to a severe disadvantage to Rhine's transport artery. The impact challenged Germany’s industrial machine, slowing economic growth in the third and fourth quarters. It was the latest sign of how even advanced industrial economies are increasingly fighting the effects of global warming.
This situation hampered barge trading in sectors like coal, oil products, chemicals and agricultural products. Companies such as chemicals firm BASF also suffered supply bottlenecks, Reuters reported.
Thyssenkrupp was damaged a low triple-digit million euro sum to date as a result from these conditions, Mr. Koefler informed.
We learned our lesson from the situation, especially as the effects of climate change could increase in the future and low water levels could become more frequent,
Among the remedies that Thyssenkrupp has come up with is a long-term deal with railway operator Deutsche Bahn, which will take on some 3,000 tonnes of coal transports per day for the steelmaker. This would allow the company to avoid production cuts of the size seen last autumn, Koefler explained.