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Consequences of the flood: Steel companies are running out of material


Freight trains can no longer get through: After the flood disaster, the steel industry in North Rhine-Westphalia lacks raw materials. Companies prepare for weeks of production problems.

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Some steel companies in North Rhine-Westphalia are experiencing initial bottlenecks after the flood disaster.

In some cases, the companies can no longer meet their obligations towards customers.

Germany's largest steel manufacturer Thyssenkrupp has asserted "force majeure" against its customers, the company announced on Tuesday.

Likewise the cold strip manufacturer Bilstein from Hagen.

Bernd Grumme, Managing Director Bilstein:

"Here the tracks in the immediate vicinity have been washed away, so that Deutsche Bahn tells us that we currently have no way of getting to you."

The company normally receives most of the raw materials for its production by rail.

Around 1,800 tons of steel were delivered to customers on normal working days.

The fact that raw material is now missing could lead to massive problems in production in the next few weeks.

There is no real alternative to rail freight transport.

Bernd Grumme, Managing Director Bilstein:

»Because we cannot obtain the material through other means, at least not fully.

We are or are already working very intensively on converting to truck transport.

But that doesn't work with the whole crowd. "

The railway expects months of reconstruction of the routes destroyed by the flood.

Seven routes in regional traffic alone have been so badly destroyed that the railway has to renew them, said the federally owned company.

Long-distance traffic is less affected.

The situation in freight traffic has also improved somewhat: According to the railway, the marshalling yard in Hagen is working again and the north-south axis along the Rhine is passable.

This would at least enable trains to be dispatched to the important seaports in Rotterdam and Antwerp.

The reconstruction of the rail lines cannot go fast enough for the steel industry.

The companies are part of a complex value chain.

Almost half of the companies in the steel industry produce in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-07-22

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