Austria To Use Coal For Its Reserve Gas-Fired Power Plant
Austria's government has agreed with utility Verbund (VERB.VI) to convert a reserve, gas-fired power plant so that it may produce electricity using coal if Russia's limited gas supplies result in an energy emergency, Paul Carrel reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: The Mellach power plant in southern Styria
The decision was made by Chancellor Karl Nehammer's "small crisis cabinet" after neighboring Germany took actions to handle decreasing Russian gas supply, including increasing dependence on coal-fired power facilities.
According to Nehammer's office, the mainly state-owned utility Verbund has decided to adapt the Mellach power plant in southern Styria, which has been shut down but maintained on standby, for fresh coal usage.
It was Austria's final coal-fired power station before being converted to a gas-fired facility for emergency usage.
The federal government and the energy group VERBUND have agreed to convert the Mellach (Styria) district heating power plant, which is currently shut down, so that in an emergency it can once again produce electricity from coal (not gas)," Nehammer's office said in a statement.
It went on to say that the administration was looking into other legislative steps to diversify gas sources in order to reduce reliance on Russian supply.
Russian gas deliveries to Europe fell short of demand on Friday, coinciding with an early heatwave gripping the continent's south and raising benchmark prices already boosted by fears that the region would struggle to build up storage in time for winter.
Austria imports 80 percent of its gas from Russia, and it has been rushing to find alternate supplies since the conflict in Ukraine.