The world's busiest artificial waterway was closed earlier this week until further notice when two vessels, one a gas tanker and one the other carrying fertilizer, collided, leaving one listing badly. The collision with the Coral Ivory vessel left the Siderfly with two holes in the bow, listing at 30 degrees, leaking diesel fuel into the canal.
Canal traffic remains suspended as crews work to empty the Siderfly and make repairs to the bow. The LPG tanker Coral Ivory and her Russian and Ukrainian crew fared better and sailed off the same day. The Coral Ivory was in route to Finland loaded with ammonia for Norwegian-based YARA International. The Siderfly was carrying 3,000 tonnes of Ukranian urea.
The Kiel Canal runs through Germany and is used to transit vessels between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea. No injuries are reported and no word of the condition of the urea cargo has surfaced. All indications are that the Coral Ivory will deliver its ammonia cargo as planned.
Roughly 35,000 vessels navigated the 100 kilometer canal last year that allows vessels to cut through the German countryside rather than sailing northward around Denmark and the Jutland Peninsula. In 2011, two seamen were thrown overboard and died in a similar collision. In 1998 the Baltic Carrier spilled close to 3,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Baltic Sea after having been rammed by a rudderless cargo ship in the canal.
If crews are unable to offload the urea cargo from the listing Siderfly, the nitrogen pollution added to the waters of the canal would add to the tragedy of 3,000 tonnes of urea lost. This was product bound for European farms and suppliers, and should have little if any impact on pricing or supply here at home. The loss of the 3,000 tonnes of urea would total roughly USD $900,000.
Photo credit: Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: Foter.com / CC SA