Karl Hudeczek.

The economic resources of Austria online

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countries of small re(|uireme.iits. depriving great consuming regi»ms
of the necessary means of production. Through the cripplimr of
free traffic between the several states, this uneiinal distribution
makes itself keenly felt, and it is one of the greatest hindrances
to the economic reconstruction of the states that have arisen
on the territory of the Austio-IlunL-arian Monarchy.



— 64 —

2. Petroleum.

As with coal so with petroleum, which might be employed as
a substitute, conditions are unfavorable for a sufficient supply
for Austria. The rich wells in Galicia, which formerly produced
far more than was needed in Austria-Hungary are now in foreign
lands ^'. The borings that have been undertaken in Austria in
the provinces of Salzburg and Upper Austria have thus far led
to no result. So Austria remains dependent upon imports to cover
its whole requirement and these imports have hitherto met with
the greatest difficulties in the matter of transportation.

The normal requirement of Austria in petroleum i)roducts, per
year, may be estimated as follows:

Illuminating oil 50,000 tons

Oil for Dieselmotors 40,000 ,.

Paraffine 6,000 „

Lubricating oil 20,000 „

Gasoline 48,000 „

For the purchase of oil, the nearest producing regions are
Galicia and Rumania. A supply from Rumania by waj^ of the
Danube has thus far encountered difficulties of transportation,
so that it has not yet been fully established, but the route of
the Danube will in any event become of the greatest importance
for obtaining supplies from Baku-Batum and other oilfields over-
seas. Recently lubricating oils have been secured from overseas
by way of Hamburg.

Within the country there are three oil refineries: that of the
Aktiengesellschaft der Wien-Floridsdorfer Mineralolfabrik in
Floridsdorf (monthly capacity 5000 tons with a paraffin plant).
Drosinger Petroleumraffinerie der Schodnica Aktiengesellschaft
in Drosing (monthly capacity 1800 tons) and Gustav Konig &
(^0., Kagran (for the rectification of 1000 tons of crude gasoline
monthly).

Of storage plants, the largest are the Nova, Vienna, Prater-
spitz, plant which is intended for the transshipment trade on
the Danube. Its present storage capacity of 10,000 tons could
be easily multiplied; Gerson, Boehm and Rosenthal, Fanto-Konzern

" See Robert Schwarz, Die Mineralolindustrie ()sterreich-Ungarns. Vienna
1919.



— 65 —

in Rannersduif (6000 tons storage room), and the Keldkirrh
reservoir plant of the Olex-Petroleuni Gesellschaft with a storage
capacity of 12,000 tons.

The large petroleum companies, formerly Austrian, siifh as the
Galizische Karpathen-Petroleum-Aktieiigesellschaft, vormals Jierg-
heim & Mac Garvey; Galizische Naphta A. G. Galicia; David
Fanto & Co.; Vacuum Oil Company; Gartenberg & Schreier, .laslo;
Schodnica A. G. fiir Petroleumiiidustrie and the Ostrauer Kuffi-
nerie, almost all of which formerly had their scat in Vienna
are of interest for the present Austria only insofar as they now
maintain sales offices here.

The central offices of these companies, which aie coming more
and more, it seems, under the controling influence of foreign
capital, will for the most part be removed to foreign countries.

However, Vienna has not lost its former importance for the
petroleum busines.s, since commerce is concentrated here more
than ever, and most of the large deals, even those between the
other Succession States, are made through Vienna. Furthermore
Vienna is an important transfer point in the through trade, whieh
is increasing greatly.

3, Water Power.
Attention is being more and more directed to projects for
developing the great water power .sites that are available in
the Alps, projects that for a long time have been under consi-
deration '■-. So long as coal and petroleum were available in al-
most unlimited quantities and at relatively lt»w prices, the deve-

*'- Statistik der osterreichisclieii Elektri/.itiitswerke uiid elektrim-hen Hahnen,
published by the Electrotechnische Vert-iu in Viiniia. lU'iO; L. Kosenbaum,
Ergebnisse der Statistik der osterreichischen ElektriziLatswerke und elektri-
sehen Bahnen nach dein Stande voiii 1. Janner 1920, Elektrotechnik und
Maschinenbau. 38. .Jahrirang, 33 Heft voin 1.'). August 1920; Adolf lUchofm.
Die Wa.sserkrafte Dtutschiisterreichs (1.^8. Band der Schriflen des Vereine.s
fur Sozialpolitik, Miinclien 1919, paije 27): Miiteilun^en Ulier die Studien und
vorbereitenden MaBnahinen der (i>terreicliischen StaatseL-ienbuhnverwaltiintr zur
AusniitzuniT der Wasserkriifte und zur KinfUhrun^ des elektrisclien Betriebcs
auf Vollbiihnen, bearbeitet im k. k. Ei^eiibahnnuni-tfrium, Vienna, 1917: Be-
griindunt;- zum Gt setzeutwurf betreftend die KintUliruriir der elektnsi-hen Zugs-
fCrderung aiif den Staatjibaiinen der Rcpublik Ksterreich, Konstiluicrende
Nationalversannnlunir, 926 der Beiiagen, Vienna 1920.

Hudoczek, Hlcunomic RosourceH. 6



— 66

lopmont of these water power sites, did not seem to offer enough
profit, and the great investment required did not seem immedi-
ately necessary. Military considei-ntions, too, were; urged against
the complete electrilication of the Alpine railways. The difficul-
ties which have arisen in recent years in obtaining regular and
continuous deliveries of coal fi"oin the Succession States whose
location permits low freight rates and fiom Upper Silesia, and
the. danger that delivery might be suddenly interrupted by a
strike or a stoi)i)age of transportation entirely apart from poli-
tical motives, and finally and above all the continuous heavy
debiting of the balance of trade by importing coal from abroad,
make the question of the electrification of railways and industry
by the aid of the water i)owor sites that have not until now been
sufficiently utilized especially pressing. It is indeed to be ex-
pected that of the present total requirement of about 15 million
tons of coal a year about 7 million tons could be saved by the
electrilication of railways and industries and by driving all electric
works by water powder.

There 'are excellent, thorough studies of the w^ater power sites
in the Austrian Alpine provinces, which are founded on exact
measurements, and are inspired first of all by the thought of
electrifying the Austrian railways.

According to the results of these investigations, there are in
the Alps great water power sites capable of development, to
the amount of l? million HP, counting as a great water power
site only one that has at least 1000 HP mean yearly production.
On the whole, according to conservative estimates, taking nine
months water supply for calculating the mean annual production,
there are in round numbers 3,010,000 HP to be derived from
w^ater power works and 2'25 million HP can be regarded as
easily capable of development.

Only a very small part of these have yet been developed. In
the side valleys of the greater mountain rivers there have long
existed numerous developed water power sites, mostly rather
simple plants, built for local needs, but in general there is a
lack of great modern water power stations. The turbine output
in water power stations amounted on January 1, 1920 to only
205,000 HP. On the other hand the estimated requirement of
Austria in electrical energy amounts already to 1,000,000 HP.



— 6/ —

At the present time, as already mentioned, 205,000 HP of
electric current is sujjplied by electric works driven by water
power, 245,000 HP by these driven by steam, and 15,0ii0 HP
by internal combustion en


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Online LibraryKarl HudeczekThe economic resources of Austria → online text (page 6 of 7)