June 11 - The Port of Hamburg has welcomed news that the Budgetary Committee of the German Federal Parliament has allocated EUR265 million for the widening of the eastern section of the Kiel Canal.

The committee has already approved EUR485 million for the construction of a fifth lock in Brunsbüttel.

Building permission for the 20 km eastern section of the Kiel Canal has been available since March 2014. In this section the canal is scheduled to be widened from 44 m to 70 m by the end of this year.

"The overhaul of the Kiel Canal is not just a matter of survival for our colleagues in the ports of Brunsbüttel, Hochdonn, Hohenhörn, Rendsburg and Kiel situated directly on the canal," said Axel Mattern, executive board member of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

"Its expansion is also of immense importance for the development and competitiveness of the entire German and economy and industry - and hence also for the Port of Hamburg."

More than 130 feeder lines per week use the Kiel Canal as the fastest and most ecological sea connection between Hamburg and the Baltic region.

"Between Hamburg and Gdansk, feederships save half the distance if they take the short cut though the canal and do not sail around Skagen in Denmark," added Mattern.