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Cost effectiveness analysis of adaptation strategies. ECCONET Deliverable D4.2 (2012)


One of the objectives of ECCONET is to identify the impacts on Inland Waterway Transport (IWT), e.g. in terms of possible additional costs, and to identify and recommend measures to reduce the impacts. This deliverable builds upon previous analysis of adaptation measures (WP.2 and 3) and provides an analysis of costs and effects expected from these measures.

The measures identified in ECCONET refer to technical and operational changes (lightweight structures, flat hulls, etc.), infrastructure (maintenance and river engineering), water level prediction methods, and storekeeping and relocation of production processes. Only a few of them were analysed in detail.

The analysis is undertaken through interviews with shippers operating on the Rhine river (Rotterdam-Basel route) in the case of technical and operational measures; these measures are assessed in terms of the additional carrying capacity they provide to shippers during the ships’ lifetime. The analysis concludes that none of the technical and operational adaptation measures studied had the potential to significantly reduce the cost of inland waterway transport by 2050, under the ECCONET scenarios. Ship owners would not invest in adaptation at the current cost levels, with the exception for the use of weight reducing technology. In terms of viability, even though technical measures might not be used right now, the most cost-effective solutions are the use of weight-reducing technologies for larger ships and the instalment of retractable aprons. Installing flat hulls for barges can be promising, but only in combination with other approaches and with a reduction in the current investment cost.

The analysis through interviews with policy makers is applied to water level prediction methods. Seasonal prediction can give value if it allows companies to avoid transport during periods with high prices, instead transporting more during low cost periods and increasing their storage. The potential savings depend strongly on the amount of days below the minimum water level of 240 cm at the most critical point in the Rotterdam- Basel section (Kaub). Depending on the scenario, the cost savings amount from € 0 (2005) to € 42,000,000 (dry year).

Finally, the deliverable explored the impact of learning effects through the detaiedl examination of one measure, the ‘retractable aprons’. It was concluded that the potential savings would be modest, only 5% of the initial total cost of the instalment.

More information on the ECCONET research project can be found here.

Reference information

Heyndrickx C., Breemersch B., Bruinsma F. (2012) Cost effectiveness analysis of adaptation strategies. ECCONET Deliverable D4.2

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