Bloomberg News

Nordic Day-Ahead Power Jumps to Four-Month High on Reactor Halt

September 26, 2012

Nordic power for delivery tomorrow jumped to its highest in more than four months after a nuclear reactor owned by EON AG shut unexpectedly and Fortum Oyj (FUM1V) delayed the start of another atomic unit.

Day-ahead electricity in the market covering Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark jumped 7.5 percent percent to 33.50 euros ($43.04) in an auction on the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange in Oslo. That’s the highest since May 14.

The Nordic region obtains a fifth of its power supply from fourteen nuclear reactors and their output affects prices for the commodity. The region’s nuclear utilization rate fell 12 percentage points to 61 percent today compared with yesterday, data from company websites and calculations by Bloomberg show.

“The nuclear halts took the market by surprise,” Jarmo Sillanpaeae, a portfolio manager at Energiakolmio Oy, said today by phone from Jyvaeskylae, Finland.

EON’s 1,400-megawatt Oskarshamn-3 reactor halted today the company said in a Nord Pool filing, without providing details. Fortum delayed the start of its 496-megawatt nuclear reactor Loviisa-1 by one day to Sept. 28, Finland’s biggest utility said via Nord Pool. As Loviisa-1 was already shut, it didn’t contribute to the drop in the atomic utilization rate.

The benchmark fourth-quarter contract rose for a second day, gaining as much as 1.5 percent to 37.25 euros a megawatt- hour on the Nasdaq OMX Inc. Group’s energy exchange. The benchmark traded at 37.20 euros at 3:41 p.m. Oslo time.

Norwegian hydro reservoir levels were 92 percent full last week, compared with 91.7 percent in the previous period, the country’s water and energy directorate said today on its website.

Drier Weather

The hydrological balance, or the amount of water available for generation compared with the seasonal average, may drop by 7 percent to 11.6 terawatt-hours in the next two weeks, Markedskraft data on Bloomberg show.

“Weather forecasts are marginally drier than yesterday, but still wetter than average,” Sillanpaeae said. “Still, Norwegian hydropower producers are improving control over their production, causing prices for most areas in Norway to rise by four to eight euros for tomorrow,” he said.

The Nordic region meets roughly half its power demand of almost 400 terawatt-hours a year by running water through turbines, which means that electricity prices are affected by precipitation and hydro reservoirs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at tfagerholm@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net


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