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COUNTRY REPORTSWITZERLAND


An unfinished rail wagon being lifted at Birsterminal using a multi-hook, heavy-duty crane.


“The last hydropower projects are in the


final stages of being built,” said Reisdorf. There is one more big hydropower project at Grimsel that had a permit for construction, but the development has been pushed back.


Wind power In terms of wind power projects, the sector has been hamstrung by a lack of available sites and resistance from environmental groups in Switzerland.


“There are a number of ecologists in


Switzerland that are against the wind energy industry and they have been delaying these projects for years,” explained Reisdorf. Dominik Keller, head of international development at Fracht, added: “I do not see it coming.” Switzerland is facing a shortfall of


It started at the end of July. Since then, we have been at low water levels [on the River Rhine] and it has not gone back to normal. – Roger Löffler, Birsterminal


www.heavyliftpfi.com


electricity in the medium term – a problem that has been compounded by the Swiss government’s 2011 decision to shut down its nuclear power generation capacity. At present, there are five nuclear stations


operating in Switzerland, accounting for almost 37 percent of the country’s power output. While there is no definitive timeline for the nuclear shutdown, the shortfall will need to be addressed by other means. BKW Group, the operator of Mühleberg plant in the canton of Bern, confirmed that Mühleberg would go off grid on December 20, 2019. “Environmentalists want to shut down


nuclear power plants and at the same time they delay wind power projects,” said Reisdorf. In Basel, the River Rhine is a key artery


for the movement of heavy and oversize project cargoes. This year, according to Roger Löffler, head of the project and packing division at Birsterminal, low water levels have caused havoc on the waterways. “It started at the end of July. Since then,


we have been at low water levels and it has not gone back to normal,” said Löffler speaking in November 2018, adding that in the 15 years he has worked at the terminal, levels have never remained this low for so


Ulber to leave Panalpina


There will be a significant change this year at the top of Zurich-headquartered Panalpina, one of the world’s largest freight forwarders. Peter Ulber will not stand for re-election as chairman of the board of Panalpina at the company’s next annual general meeting on May 9, 2019. Furthermore, in January 2019, Denmark’s DSV


made an offer to acquire Panalpina for approximately CHF170 (USD172) per share. At the time of publication, DSV had not yet


received a response to its private proposal from Panalpina’s board of directors. Panalpina, meanwhile, confirmed that it has received “an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from DSV to acquire the company at a price of CHF170 per share, comprising a mix of cash and DSV shares”. According to DSV, the combined business would


generate expected revenues of more than DKK110 billion (USD16.8 billion). The company’s offer follows DSV’s proposal to


acquire Ceva Logistics last year. Ceva rejected the offer, as it expanded its partnership with container shipping line CMA CGM.


January/February 2019 131


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