In connection with the discussion about the corona-related suspension of canal dues for the Kiel Canal, the Kiel Canal Initiative eV commissioned a study from the Institute for the World Economy (IfW) that also examined the macroeconomic benefits of the Kiel Canal like its contribution to the achievement of the set climate protection goals.
“It has finally been scientifically confirmed that the Kiel Canal is not only important for the northern Germany, but also that it clearly has an overall German significance with the creation of €570 million in economic benefits per year,” emphasises Jens B. Knudsen, Chairman of the Kiel Canal Initiative.
The result of the study underscores the high economic and climate-political relevance of the Kiel Canal and thus supports the high level of interest and current efforts to make the Kiel Canal fit for the future.
According to Knudsen, everything must now be done to follow the recommendations of the IfW. “A flexible Kiel Canal dues system, which reacts to changes in fuel costs for ships, ensures that shipowners no longer have to bypass the Kiel Canal for reasons of cost,” the Chairman of the Kiel Canal Initiative states. Every ship in the Kiel Canal is a gain for everyone involved, since on the one hand the environment is protected by a shorter sea route and on the other hand the economic benefit for the Federal Republic is en-sured. Even in times of scarce resources, it must be ensured that ongoing and future construction work is not delayed.
Knudsen notes that the General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping already no longer has sufficient funds available to commission the necessary pending measures. Knudsen looks to the future with concern, because shipping needs a reliable transit time without waiting times in front of the locks or in the canal.
“In order to ensure the status quo of the Kiel Canal, more staff would have to be made available to the WSA Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in the area of maintenance and repair. Without an immediate increase in the number of engineering and technician positions, Kiel Canal customers will have to be prepared for longer maintenance and repair work in the future,” emphasises Knudsen. In his opinion, it is precisely here that political decision makers have to counteract in order to realise the benefits for the national economy and the environment determined by the IfW in the future as well. In Knudsen's view, at the present time and against the background of the results which are now available, one cannot seriously argue against a rapid modernisation of the Kiel Canal.
“It must therefore be checked whether the Kiel Canal is not also an infra-structure measure from a European point of view, that brings so many welfare effects to counties such as B. Denmark, Sweden and Poland that European infrastructure funding would be appropriate,” suggests Knudsen.
Read the article online at: https://www.drybulkmagazine.com/dry-bulk/15062021/ifw-outlines-importance-of-kiel-canal/