Urging Danube Riparian States to ensure reliable navigation <

Monday 03 Nov 2014 / Gerelateerde tags: Infrastructure Danube maintenance 

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The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), Inland Navigation Europe (INE), the European Barge Union (EBU), the European Skippers’ Organisation (ESO), Pro Danube International (PDI) and the Maritime Port of Constanţa urge riparian states to implement better fairway maintenance and ensure navigation reliability on the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

 

At a meeting of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) in Vukovar on 28 and 29 October 2014, the Priority Area 1a – inland waterways presented a Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries which concludes that additional investments of about 85 Mio EUR would be sufficient to reach recommended levels of service, i.e. 2.50 m fairway depth at low navigable water level along the majority of  Danube sections (2.0 m for the German section Straubing-Vilshofen). Additional annual operational costs would amount to about 8 Mio EUR. Compared to the magnitude of many other transport infrastructure projects, this is a rather modest sum. The European Commission has also signaled its willingness to offer support through EU co-funding.

The undersigning organisations therefore urge the Danube riparian states to endorse the master plan and to ensure its swift implementation!

The current lack of fairway maintenance on the Danube and its navigable tributaries resulting in unreliable navigation is a pressing issue for the inland waterway sector and the industry using it. The failure of some countries to honour their commitment to maintain the Danube and its navigable tributaries threatens the safe and cost-efficient navigability of the river with disastrous consequences for the sector and affected industry. For example, a push-boat with four barges costs its owner about EUR 3300 a day in fixed costs. This money is lost each day the boat cannot operate due to low water levels. More importantly, in the medium term, unreliable infrastructure conditions deter potential customers from transporting their goods by inland waterway in the first place. The new master plan identifies critical maintenance locations which currently limit the navigability of the Danube and its navigable tributaries and analyses the underlying issues and the financial needs required to resolve them. The majority of investments are needed for dredging equipment, fairway marking and riverbed surveying. Investments are to be carried out in full compliance with EU environmental legislation, thus ensuring respect for biodiversity and integrated water management.

The provision of quality infrastructure and legal certainty by the public sector will kick-start private investment in innovative and cost-effective services with positive effects for economic development in Europe. The competitive edge of some of Europe’s key industries (steel, agro, oil & minerals, aggregates) on the global market heavily depends on cost-effective inbound and outbound shipments of raw materials by inland waterways.

Undersigning organisations

  • European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP)
  • Inland Navigation Europe (INE)
  • European Barge Union (EBU)
  • European Skippers’ Organisation (ESO)
  • Pro Danube International (PDI)
  • Maritime Ports Administration SA Constanţa (MPA SA Constanţa)

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