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UPDATE 1-Europe Power-German curve benchmark extends 6-week low
September 17, 2012 / 2:37 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Europe Power-German curve benchmark extends 6-week low

* German Cal '13 base at lowest level since July 30
    * Coal, carbon prices lower, oil and gas higher

 (Updates prices, adds links)
    FRANKFURT, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Germany's main contract on
the power curve dropped to a new six-week low in later Monday
trading as cheap coal lowered utilities' bills and plentiful
prompt power supply took the urgency out of covering ahead of
the winter.
    Traders said a stronger euro cut buying-in bills of coal
delivered to north-west Europe and carbon emissions rights
prices were also depressed.
    "As long as there is no noticeable shortage of nearby power,
the curve could keep falling," one trader said.
    The German contract for baseload next year, Cal '13, lost 40
cents from Friday levels and traded at 48.30 euros ($64) a
megawatt hour (MWh), the lowest since July 30.
    The same French contract traded broadly unchanged at 50.75 
euros, at a 2.45 euros premium over Germany. This reflected
anticipated problems with sustaining French nuclear capacity and
production volumes over the longer term.
    The weaker coal and carbon factors' impact on power overrode
firm gas and oil, which steadied after seven days of gains on
U.S. economic stimulus measures. 
    Spot power prices edged higher, regardless of the generally
comfortable supply, due to short-term gaps.
    Wind power supply eased in Germany, the expected maintenance
outage of a big nuclear plant was confirmed and another utility
reported a big coal block offline unexpectedly, among others.
    South German utility EnBW confirmed it took the 1,400 MW
Neckarwestheim 2 reactor offline on Sept. 15 for a four-week
outage. 
    E.ON data showed the utility's 875 MW Heyden hard coal-fired
block will be offline until the early hours of Wednesday, due to
boiler trouble. Its Staudinger block 1 of 249 MW and 312 MW
Huntorf unit are also offline.
    Germany's baseload power contract for Tuesday was
1.30 euros up from what was paid for Monday delivery at 52.75
euros. 
    French Tuesday delivery was 1.90 euros up at 53.50 euros.
Traders said some nuclear units had failed to be reconnected in
time and restarts were being put back.
    German wind power output will be at low levels below 2 GW up
to close on Tuesday, weather data showed.
    It had jumped to 15 GW on Friday when wind and solar
capacity combined exceeded 30 GW in a certain hour, according to
data from power exchange EEX.
    "That sort of situation was a one-off," a trader said.
    The bourse showed that traditional power load - that
produced from thermal plants run on coal, gas and nuclear -
amounted to 38 GW at that time, illustrating how much of supply
can already be derived from renewables, if weather patterns are
favourable.
    Czech reactor Temelin 1 closed for three days on Monday just
after being reconnected last Friday following maintenance
work.  
    German power grid operator TenneT, the subsidiary of Dutch
state-owned TenneT said the EU Commission is backing it in its
struggle to connect fast expanding German offshore wind parks to
the mainland in time and find investors. 
    IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) said it bought a majority
stake in the spin-off gas and power derivatives business of
Amsterdam-based bourse APX Endex, giving it better access to
growing western European energy. 
($1 = 0.7606 euros)

 (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by William Hardy)

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