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Germany: Key shipping lane reopens after shutdown

The Kiel Canal opened for business on Tuesday after an oil spill forced the important shipping lane shut for nearly two weeks.

An oil spill from a pipeline near Brunsbuttel port in Germany’s northern state of Schleswig-Holstein forced shut the canal on December 21.

The canal, which connects the North and Baltic Seas, saw clean-up efforts during the time.

A think tank based in Kiel said blockage of canal was approximately costing €1.6 million per day, local public broadcaster NDR reported.

The duration of the blockage of the canal caused some frustration since the passageway is one of the busiest artificial shipping routes in the world.

State Environment Minister Tobias Goldschmidt said he was aware that it demanded a lot of patience from “many actors” but defended the two-weeks closure saying protection of the seas and emergency services working at the site was important.

State environment minister praises clean-up efforts

“The cleaning work in Brunsbüttel is progressing well. Thanks to a great team effort, the spread of oil in the Elbe and North Sea and thus an environmental disaster could be prevented,” Goldschmidt said on Monday.

The State Ministry for Energy Transition, Climate Protection, Environment and Nature also thanked people for working through the Christmas holidays to clear up the oil from the canal waters.
Source: Deutsche Welle

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