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EnBW warns of coal supply issues due to ice in southern Germany

London — German utility EnBW has warned that coal supply via barges to itscoal-fired power plants at Heilbronn and Altbach is currently not possible dueto ice, it said in a short note on its transparency website.

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Both plants are located on the lower Neckar river in the southwesternstate of Baden-Wuerttemberg with the river frozen for the first time since2012, according to a local media report.

Ice on the river is jamming river locks and has led to 25 barges gettingstuck on the river south of Mannheim, the local media report added.

In a separate note, RWE warned Tuesday of further coal supply issues toits coal plants at Voerde, Bergkamen, Gersteinwerk and Westfalen due to lowriver levels mainly on the Rhine further north.

Both utilities already warned twice last year -- in October and December-- that the low river levels affected coal supply with shippers adding apremium to coal transports via barge on the river Rhine due to the low riverlevels.

German coal plant electricity output last week rose to its highest levelin almost five years as cold weather boosted demand while below average windand record-low nuclear availability as well as unplanned lignite plant outagesall reduced supply, according to power generation data compiled by think-tankFraunhofer ISE.

The increased coal burn last week may have aggravated coal supply issuesand reduced storage levels at power plants inland and especially in southernGermany.

German spot power prices spiked Monday at their highest since 2008.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Leech, james.leech@spglobal.com