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EUROPE POWER-Curve gains on concerns over French nuclear review
August 23, 2017 / 3:47 PM / a month ago

EUROPE POWER-Curve gains on concerns over French nuclear review

(Recast with curve gains)

PARIS, Aug 23 (Reuters) - European forward electricity prices rose on Wednesday in response to persistent concerns about French nuclear power supply during the winter after nuclear regulator ASN asked EDF to review some components of its nuclear reactors.

* Prices along the forward power curve rose to 2-1/2 year highs last week after ASN asked utility EDF to review all components of its nuclear reactors that were made by Areva’s Creusot Forge by the end of 2018, prompting fears it could lead to prolonged reactor shutdowns.

* ASN, EDF and Areva have said the reviews will not impact nuclear output. But a media report which quoted ASN saying there were “deviations” in EDF’s reports that were not known, raised additional concerns, traders said.

* An ASN spokeswoman told Reuters that there were deviations in EDF’s initial reports, but declined to provide any details adding that the reviews were ongoing.

* The French power contract for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017 rose 3.59 percent or 1.7 euros to 49 euros ($57.87)per megawatt-hour (MWh), while the contract for delivery in the first quarter of 2018 rose 2.33 percent, to 50.60 euros/MWh.

* The German Cal ‘18 baseload power contract for 2018 gained 1.06 percent to 33.30 euros/MWh. The equivalent French contract added 1.4 percent to 39.80 euros/MWh .

* Coal cif Europe 2018 gained 0.65 percent $78 a tonne . December 2017 expiry EU carbon allowances were up 1.90 percent at 5.83 euros a tonne.

* In the spot market, prices for day-ahead delivery diverged on Wednesday as higher output from German wind turbines weighed on the prompt price, while firm demand, falling renewables and tight nuclear supply, supported the French market.

* The benchmark German day-ahead baseload contract for Thursday delivery fell 3.51 percent or 1.3 euros to 35.70 euros/MWh.

* The equivalent French contract gained 0.64 cents or 1.79 percent to 37 euros/MWh.

* German wind power production is expected to rise by 5.4 gigawatts (GW) day-on-day on Thursday to 7.3 GW, according to Thomson Reuters data. Solar production, however, will slip by 1.5 GW to 6.1 GW.

* Nuclear power availability, which accounts for over 75 percent of French electricity needs, rose to 71.5 percent of capacity on Wednesday from 69.49 percent the previous day following the restart of EDF’s 1,300 MW St. Alban 2 reactor.

* But its 1,500 MW Civaux 2 reactor will go offline on Thursday for a planned maintenance outage until Sunday.

* In eastern Europe, Czech spot for Thursday delivery fell 2.72 percent to 35.80 euros, while year-ahead power was untraded with a bid/ask price of 33.40/33.55 euros/MWh.($1 = 0.8467 euros) (Reporting by Bate Felix, editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman)

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