18 Dec Power
French nuclear output rose above 50 GW for the first time since February, with seven more reactors scheduled to return over in the 1H of this month. Strikes and maintenance plans are taking a back seat for now. Base load prices in France are down to €62-63/MWh, from €65-66/MWh previously. EDF is awaiting the decision by the ASN regarding the return of its 3.7 GW Tricastin nuclear power plant. The cold snap and the UK Forties oil pipeline system going down provided oil and gas prices with a boost. Forties provides the UK with 40% of its oil and gas. Imports from Norway and LNG are options. It has helped UK base load prices rise up to £55/MWh for prompt contracts up from £51/MWh on the last IW2E. There was also an unplanned outage at Norway’s Troll platform. German base load power prices are in a range play of €43-45/t MWh for Jan and February. Russian gas, domestic lignite supplies are keeping power prices in check. A lack of rain could hamper Rhine operations. Smaller gas plants in Germany have been de-mothballed recently. In Spain, coal subsidies are being investigated by EU regulators. Since 2007 the Spanish government has spent €440m to install FGD equipment and this could be providing them with an unfair competitive advantage. Italian power prices hit €90/MWh after the Austrian gas explosion. Within day gas and power prices in Europe jumped by at least 30% but gains have retraced.