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Scarce coal barge supply, Germany’s Bergkamen A shutters

Bergkamen A, a 715 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the western German district of Unna, will be closed until October 4, as fuel supplies via inland waterways are becoming scarce.

What looks like a standard market report is usually only of interest to electricity traders on the European wholesale market and is a new example of unusual conditions in the energy sector.

Electricity, coal, gas, oil and carbon emission allowance prices are skyrocketing due to global fundamentals and weather, while transportation supply chains sometimes struggle to meet industry demand for COVID. NG / Great Britain

Several energy retailers in Europe have gone bankrupt and industry analysts whisper that manufacturers could consider temporary plant closings if problems persist. Continue reading

Hard coal for northern European deliveries in 2022 is trading at USD 164.1 per ton, the highest level since September 2008.

Bergkamen A, from 24,000 MW of German hard coal capacity, was offline four times for several days in September, said a press spokesman for the power plant operator Steag.

On the transparency page of the EEX electricity exchange, which informs traders about short-term deliveries, he confirmed mandatory notifications from plant operators.

“Due to the high gas prices, there is a run on coal worldwide and at our specific location this means a double bottleneck,” he said.

“Not only is coal more in demand, but also barges for river transport of all kinds of raw materials,” he said.

Unlike most of the competitors’ coal-fired power plants, which can switch to rail transport to replenish their stocks, Bergkamen A is not connected to the railways.

The problems should subside by next week, but in general it is advisable to keep an eye on the situation, the spokesman said.

Unfavorable wind speeds this year have meant that the country’s turbines are below average, so conventional electricity, which is about to be phased out, is used more frequently. Continue reading
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt and Nora Buli in Oslo, editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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