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Swiss hydro stocks refill slows in most recent week

London (Platts)--2 Aug 2018 213 pm EDT/1813 GMT


Swiss hydro reserves refill slowed by 53% week on week in the week that ended Sunday, feeling the impact of the intensifying heatwave across Europe, Federal Energy Office data showed Thursday.

After edging up by only 200 GWh week on week, stocks are pegged at 72.6% of capacity or 6.4 TWh.

Although a four-year high and sharply above the 66.1% of capacity a year ago, a trend emerged in July of reserves being affected by low rainfall and evaporation due to high temperatures.

While hydro stocks in Central and Southern Europe benefited from abundant snow melt this year, Nordic stocks dropped year on year earlier this summer.

Traders said river temperatures and levels must be watched more closely as it affects power plant cooling and reduces production.

The focus remains on France, as a result of EDF's big nuclear fleet, as that market is more sensitive to warming rivers than Germany, although smaller reductions have been seen there as well.

In neighboring Germany, Rhine levels have dropped, resulting in reduced barge loadings, which raises the cost of coal deliveries, EnBW said.

At Kaub, a noted chokepoint on the Rhine, the water level was 74 cm, data from the German Rhine River Authority showed.

River flows on the Rhine at the Swiss border with Germany fell to 44% of the long-term average, the lowest so far this year, Federal Energy Office data show.

The latest weather forecasts see the heatwave stretching into the coming week, with forecasts predicting some thunderstorms, with rainfall coming mid-August. From the end of next week, there could emerge a trend of cooler and wetter weather, forecasts and traders said. --Inga Freund, inga.freund@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com




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