Austria wants to reactivate coal-fired power plant | Abroad

Austria – In the face of cutbacks in Russian gas supplies, Austria has decided to reactivate a coal-fired power plant that has been shut down. The district heating plant in southern Austria’s Mellach, south of Graz, is affected.

The Federal Chancellery in Vienna announced on Sunday that the authorities and the largest Austrian electricity producer, the Verbund Group, were working on preparing the power plant for operation with coal again. The primary goal is to ensure Austria’s gas supply, said Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Sunday.

The decision was made by the conservative-green government led by Nehammer after a meeting of the crisis cabinet on the throttled gas supplies from Russia. The Russian energy company Gazprom had previously announced that it would reduce its natural gas deliveries to Austria – similar to what it had previously done with Austria’s neighboring countries Germany and Italy. In mid-June, the gas storage capacity in Austria was 39 percent. For comparison: In Germany, the Federal Network Agency recently reported 57 percent.

The Mellach power plant, located near Graz in Styria, was the last coal-fired power plant in Austria to be taken off the grid in spring 2020. The shutdown was part of the Austrian climate protection strategy with the aim of obtaining 100 percent of the electricity from renewable energies. With the reactivation that has now been decided, energy can again be generated from coal in Mellach in an emergency. According to the APA news agency, the conversion will take several months.

Chancellor Nehammer explained that Austria is trying to replace the missing Russian gas with other sources or other suppliers.

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