Second lock in Trier released for shipping

Second lock in Trier released for shipping

The expansion of the locks on the Moselle is progressing. With the new building in Trier, three Moselle locks now have a second chamber – more are being planned. An answer to overload and long waiting times.

After almost eight years of construction, the second lock chamber officially went into operation at the Trier Moselle lock on Monday. “Today is a piece of future security, not only for the business location Rhineland-Palatinate, but also for the Saarland, for Luxembourg and France,” said the Rhineland-Palatinate Transport Minister Daniela Schmitt (FDP). The expansion was necessary, among other things, because the volume of goods on the Moselle has risen sharply in recent decades.

The next step is to equip all other locks along the Moselle with a second chamber, said Schmitt. The next second chamber will be built in Lehmen, then work will begin in Wintrich. Such new buildings had already been opened in Fankel and Zeltingen in 2014 and 2010. There are a total of 28 Moselle locks, 10 of them on German territory.

In Trier, the first control center on the Moselle for remote control of lock and weir systems went into operation on Monday. In the future, the systems in Detzem, Wintrich and Zeltingen will be controlled from here. A second control center should be built in Müden, announced the General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping. The technical retrofitting of all systems should be completed in 2027.

According to the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, the construction of the second Moselle locks from Koblenz to Trier is one of the most extensive German hydraulic engineering projects in the inland area. The second chambers are “a crucial building block for strengthening the ecological mode of transport waterways,” said the parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Enak Ferlemann (CDU). In addition, it ensures “a reliable connection between the Saar, Lorraine, Luxembourg and Trier economic areas to the national and international waterway network”.

Saarland Economics Minister Anke Rehlinger (SPD) said the expansion of the Moselle locks was also “an important investment in the future of Saarland’s industrial location”. Mainly raw materials for the steel industry come into the country via the Moselle and Saar. The transport of goods by barge is more environmentally friendly than other transport routes and relieves road traffic. “The investment of around 100 million euros in the facilities in Trier is therefore also an investment in climate protection,” she said.

Compared to the older lock chambers, the new chambers with a length of 210 meters and a width of 12.50 meters are almost 40 meters longer and half a meter wider. The Moselle can currently be navigated by large motor cargo ships with a length of up to 135 meters and push convoys up to 172 meters long. An average freight ship with up to 3,000 tons of cargo would replace around 150 trucks of 20 tons each, it said.

The President of the General Direction for Waterways and Shipping, Hans-Heinrich Witte, said that the second lock chambers would strengthen shipping. “That is the right way to lead the Moselle ecologically and economically into the future.”

The Moselle connects the economic regions of Lorraine, Luxembourg, Saar and Trier with the North Sea ports in the Netherlands and Belgium via the Rhine. Since the opening of the major shipping route Moselle in 1964, the river has been of great importance for international shipping.

According to information from the Mosel-Saar-Lahn Waterways and Shipping Office, the Moselle was designed for a transport volume of around 10 million tons of goods per year in the 1960s. Currently, an average of 14 million tons of goods are transported between Trier and Koblenz every year. And the forecast is: in 2025 there will be more than 17 million tons of goods.