EURO POWER: Feb gains on reactor outage; week-ahead up on cold

London (Platts)--9 Jan 2017 958 am EST/1458 GMT

German and French prompt power prices rose Monday on the back of a very cold weather outlook for the week-ahead with day-ahead prices also up despite an expected surge in wind this week, according to sources.

On the near curve, German February base was up Eur1.15 at Eur39/MWh as the maintenance outage at the 1.4 GW Philippsburg-2 reactor was extended by two months to the end of March with German nuclear availability already at a winter-low due to a unprecedented refueling schedule.

The German year-ahead contract was 10 euro cent down from Friday's close, last heard at Eur28.40/MWh with coal extending its downward trend.

Front-year coal into Europe fell 75 cents/mt to $61.25/mt, while the EUA Dec 2017 futures contract on the ICE Futures Europe exchange traded at Eur5.09/mt, little changed from Friday's close, which capped one of the worst weeks for carbon since 2014, falling over 20% from the 2016 close. On the prompt, German baseload power for Tuesday delivery was last heard at Eur51.50/MWh, up just Eur1 from Monday's price on Friday.

However, Epex Spot settled significantly above OTC at Eur54.61/MWh for baseload and Eur71.43/MWh for the peak, more than Eur7/MWh above OTC.

Temperatures were to remain below monthly norms in Germany for the rest of the week but were set to be less frosty than in recent days, with deviations of up to minus 6 degrees instead of minus 13, according to CustomWeather.

From the middle of the week wind was forecast to rise to above 30 GW for average baseload hours, according to SpotRenewables.

Conventional plant availability for hard coal and lignite was pegged at 33.4 GW for Tuesday, data from EEX Transparency showed.

In France, Tuesday baseload was last heard at Eur71.50/MWh with peakload at Eur80/MWh, up for from Monday's price on Friday, but below last Friday's Eur110/MWh close for the peakload contract with temperatures also up in line with the seasonal norm ahead of another very cold spell next week.

Further out, the French week-ahead baseload contract jumped over Eur20 to Eur82.50/MWh with temperatures expected to drop over 6 C below the norm next Wednesday, lifting the peak demand forecast above 94 GW, according to RTE data.

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