The Slovak government announced the closure of one of the two locks in Gabcikovo for 9 hours a day from 28 September and for a period of 3.5 months (until 17 January 2021). This is despite the fact that the second lock has been under repair for some time and is therefore also out of use.
The IWT platform (EBU and ESO) therefore undertook efforts to shorten the planned blockade to allow inland navigation operators to better meet their transport obligation.
The IWT platform reported this in its previous newsletter. This resulted in intensive consultations from September onwards, urging a shortening of the total duration of the blockade.
Since then, the daily working time has gone from 9 to 8 hours, however during 7 days a week. After the last consultation on November 26th we learned that 75% of all work has been completed and it is expected that the work can be completed around December 17, 2021, one month earlier than originally planned. A formal confirmation by the Slovakian Ministry will follow at a later stage.
We are therefore pleased to inform you that our intervention has helped to shorten the work by one month and we would like to thank the Slovakian Ministry and all parties involved for the cooperation!
The second lock, which was already out of operation, will be reopened in the third quarter of 2021 or in the first quarter of 2022.
Leny van Toorenburg
27 November 2020