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Swedish nuclear output could slump to 33% next week


28 Aug 2018 08:06

28 Aug 2018 08:06

(Montel) The availability of Sweden’s nuclear power plants could drop to 33% of installed capacity next week, due to outages at up to five of the country’s eight reactors, according to the latest data on Tuesday.

Forsmark 2 (1,123 MW) and Oskarshamn 3 (1,445 MW) are offline for annual maintenance until 18 September, while Ringhals 4 (1,102 MW) is scheduled to start a 21-day maintenance stop on Wednesday.

But on top of this comes unplanned outages at both Ringhals’ and Forsmark’s sites.

Ringhals 1 (883 MW) has been offline due to an unplanned outage since last week, just after it had been returned to the grid from annual maintenance. The operator has postponed the restart of the unit several times and is currently planning a restart on Friday.

“We needed more time to fix the problem than we thought last week. Unless something unpredictable turns up, the scheduled should hold [this time],” Krister Svahn, head of communication at Ringhals, told Montel.

Forsmark would also shut down Forsmark 3 (1,168 MW) from Sunday for six days to repair a valve.

If the start-up of Ringhals 1 is further delayed, five reactors, with an installed capacity of 5.7 GW, could be offline at the start of next week, reducing Sweden’s nuclear output to a third of installed capacity.

If Ringhals 1 returns to service, the availability increases to 43%. 

Price impact

Low nuclear output in the Nordic region has provided additional support to the surging spot market that is seeing its highest prices since March, with a current system price of EUR 59.54/MWh. 

The bid-ask range for the week-ahead contract was last seen at EUR 56.55-60/MWh, compared to a close of EUR 57.83/MWh on Monday.

Spot prices are likely to be considerably higher in Sweden’s SE3 price area, where all the reactors are located. 

The week-ahead contract for SE3 Epads – which are used to hedge price differences between the system price and the spot price areas – closed at a EUR 9.38/MWh premium on Monday.

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