Germany plans to give rail networks priority to ship essential energy materials and equipment ahead of the winter should water levels on the Rhine River fall further and hamper delivery, Reuters reported, citing a draft decree of the country.
The railway department has already rescheduled to ship oil and hard coal products as the country is facing a potential energy crisis this winter. The recent low water level of Rhine River has hampered its coal arrivals while the ban on Russian imports, which came into force last week, has no doubt added to the woe.
The aim is to ensure the ongoing operations of power stations, electricity grids and other system-relevant infrastructure, Reuters quoted the draft.
The extremely hot and dry weather has delayed the water supplement of the river, making it impossible for many vessels to navigate the critical shipping route fully laden.
Germany needs more coal supply than any other time in previous years as the company has ramped up coal-based electricity generation as Russia's cut on gas flow and soared gas prices have curbed its gas imports, forcing it to switch to burning more coal.
An important reference waterline level at the chokepoint of Kaub near Koblenz stood at 34 cm at midday (1000 GMT) on August 14, 3 cm lower than the same time a day earlier.
Kaub hit 25 cm at one point in 2018.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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