Breaking news: Czech 820MW coal plant closure pushes up front month power price

30 August 2016 15:18 Source:ICIS

The 820MW coal-fired plant Chvaletice will be offline for several weeks following a fire that took place at the plant on Tuesday morning, the spokeswoman for the Sev.en Group who owns the plant told ICIS on Tuesday.

The accident has been one of the key reasons behind a higher price on the September ’16 contract on the county’s wholesale electricity market.

The fire caused damage to some parts of the plant in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“The fire has now been eliminated but the power plant is out of operation and will remain offline for a few weeks,” the spokeswoman said.

Several traders active on the Czech power market told ICIS that the accident was one of the crucial factors behind a rise on the September ’16 contract.

The contract transacted at €30.10/MWh in the morning, up by €0.40/MWh compared to the last assessment on Friday.

A bid and offer spread available at the broker’s screen at 14:40 London time settled at €30.05/MWh - €30.20/MWh.

The price closed some €1.25/MWh higher than the equivalent contract on the more liquid German market, which often sets the tone for Czech electricity prices.

However, the German contract also gained ground on Tuesday, driven up by stronger prompt prices.

“The fire will certainly have some implication on Czech prices but the higher price of September in Germany would also have had an impact,” a trader said.

The Czech Republic’s domestic supply outlook for the upcoming weeks looks uncertain following last week’s news that one of the 1GW units at the Temelin nuclear plant is not going to return to production on 26 August as previously expected (see EDEM24 August 2016).

According to data released by the incumbent CEZ, only 728MW of capacity will become available from the Temelin II unit on 5 September, before ramping up to near its full generation capacity three days later.

The delay to Temelin II’s return will coincide with maintenance activity at the 1GW Temelin I reactor from 27 August, as well as three 500MW units at the Dukovany nuclear plant going offline. This will potentially create tightness in the system for most of September.

By Karolina Zagrodna