(L-R) Norbert Schilling, head of the Inland Navigation Department; Yuriko Backes, Luxembourg's Minister for Mobility and Public Works; Credit: MMTP

Luxembourg's Ministry of Mobility and Public Works has reported that Minister Backes visited the Inland Navigation Department (Service de la navigation fluviale) and the Port of Mertert on Friday 3 May 2024.

The visit allowed Luxembourg's Minister for Mobility and Public Works to meet those responsible for the management of river infrastructure in Luxembourg and the operation of the Grevenmacher and Stadtbredimus dam-locks.

As reported by the ministry, the visit to the offices of the Inland Navigation Department and the control post for lockage, followed by lockage with the boat Faucon II, provided an overview of the activities of this department which is responsible for the transit of more than 3,000 buildings annually. Its responsibilities as a regulator and its role in the European river network includes 41,000 km of waterways in 25 Member States.

The visit continued at the Port of Mertert, where officials of the Société du Port de Mertert detailed the current activities of the port as well as the challenges looming on the horizon. This preliminary presentation was followed by a tour of the port facilities.

As reported by the ministry, the Port of Mertert occupies a strategic place as the only trimodal platform in the Grand Duchy, offering logistics solutions by rail, river and road. With an annual transit of more than a million tonnes of goods, it plays an "important" role in the economies of Luxembourg and the Greater Region.

The ministry also recalled that 7% of the total volume of goods in the Grand Duchy is transported by river, "thus highlighting the importance of river infrastructure for industry and commerce". In addition, passenger transport activity is "developing favourably with growing tourist interest in the Moselle region".

Minister Backes commented: "A single barge is capable of transporting the equivalent of 200 lorries. This awareness reinforces the commitment to the development and continued modernisation of waterways and port infrastructure."