Bonn – Now even German motorists feel the consequences of drought: because the Rhine has so little water, the first petrol stations run out of fuel!
Which service stations are affected is unpredictable. Stephan Zieger (59), Managing Director of the Federal Association of Free Supply Stations (BFT): "It's like a storm, since you do not know where the lightning strikes."
The ship holds contents from 80 to 100 tankers
Some service stations had to stop selling petrol or diesel sometimes because they had run out of gas. "In the tanks along the Rhine there is not enough fuel, because oil tankers can only carry half or less petrol and diesel," said a spokesman for the industry leader of the Aral gas station in Bochum.
Zieger, Managing Director of BTF: "The Rhine is our main transport route". And the ships' transport capacity can only be partially replaced by oil tankers: "A large ship contains 2,000 tons of fuel, which is about 80 to 100 oil tankers".
▶ last The Day of the Holiday Reform and All Saints last week would have made the situation even more difficult, said Aral's spokesman. Reason: the holiday drives the ban on trucks. Stephan Zieger at BILD: "Every little wave on the Rhine is exploited as soon as there is a little more water, ships start sailing in half or three quarters."
The Mineralölwirtschaftsverband (MWV) cites another reason for supply gaps: the explosion at a refinery in Vohburg on the Danube (Bavaria) in September. Because of the loss of production, the situation in southern Germany becomes more acute, said spokesman Alexander von Gersdorff (53). The Petroleum Reservoir Association (EBV) had already offered 180,000 tons of diesel oil, 84,000 tons of gasoline and 67,000 tons of kerosene from the Federal Reserve to facilitate the situation in service stations, but without any resounding success. In Germany, around three million tons of diesel are sold every month.
"Do not go around unnecessarily
In addition to the shortage of petrol stations by the lower waters of the Rhine, the behavior of motorists, according to the CEO of BFT Zieger, plays a role in the lack of fuel: "They fill for fear of an empty tank earlier than usual." This would also fill the gas station tanks faster, "This often causes a domino effect," says Zieger. "Anyone who does not take gas at the first service station will switch to the next one, and even that may be empty."
Zieger: "We have no problem with quantity, at the moment, the goods do not arrive in the right place at the right time, as usual."
The mineral oil economy requires the suspension of the ban on Sunday circulation
Furthermore, only service stations along the Rhine are concerned, namely mainly the west and south-west. "Other regions are well supplied by seaports," says Zieger.
However, it can not be ruled out that fuel will also be scarce in other regions. MWV spokesman Alexander von Gersdorff: "There was a temporary shortage in Thuringia, otherwise the situation in the east is normal". Von Gersdorff continues: "Up to now, the logistics industry has been able to find jobs only occasionally and for a few hours".
The goal is to maintain this status. But it would be difficult, as long as the low water of the Rhine will last. "We therefore ask for a temporary suspension of the Sunday driving ban for tankers in the affected regions," said Gersdorff. A request has been made to the responsible Ministry and will now be examined.
In the rain of the weekend possible, then dry again
Drivers in the affected regions have only the hope of rain. Only with sufficient rainfall is there a considerable relaxation in the provision of service stations with expected petrol and diesel. Because of the currently significantly higher transport costs, prices are unlikely to fall.
On the weather forecast, the expert Dominik Jung states: "The drought could improve a bit Saturday and Sunday in the west and south, so at the regional level sometimes up to 30 or 40 liters of rain are possible, higher values especially around the Saarland. "
How effectively it will fall from the sky remains to be seen. The graduate meteorologist continues: "After that, however, the drought immediately re-emerges and a new high is forming: winter or heavy rain for everyone is not in sight".