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Hydro reserves hit 8-month low in Bulgaria

Singapore — Hydropower production in the Balkans fell to a 13-month low in Week 41, mostly as a result of continuing low run-of-river output, hydrological reports and ENTSO-E data show.

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Hydro production could be similar or even lower this week as Danube levels skirt record lows amid dry weather.

Hydropower output in Romania (dominated by the Iron Gate power station) was 225 GWh last week, down 15% from the previous week and the lowest reading in almost a year, as run-of-river and reservoir output both fell. Output was unchanged year on year.

Danube flows entering Romania are forecast to drop slightly this week to about half of their usual October levels, the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management said. The Danube will also drop downstream of Iron Gate.

In Serbia, which shares Iron Gate capacities with Romania, hydropower production was just under 90 GWh last week. This is a 14-month low, showing a 10% week-on-week and 27% year-on-year drop. Hydroelectric reserves totaled 366 GWh at the end of the week, up 1.9% from the week before but showing a 21% year-on-year drop.

Danube levels in Serbia are forecast to move slightly lower this week, approaching record lows for October, data from the Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia show.

Hydropower output in Slovakia fell 13% week on week to 29 GWh last week, its lowest in almost three years; it also fell 61% year on year. Production could be similarly low this week, as Danube levels affecting Slovakia are forecast to stay near record lows, data from Hungary's National Hydrology Service show.

Hydropower output in Bulgaria fell 30% week on week to an eight-month low 58 GWh last week, as river output and especially reservoir production both fell. Output was still 35% higher year on year. Hydroelectric reserves fell further, by 2.3% week on week to an eight-month low of 1.67 TWh, though still showing a 14% year-on-year increase. Bulgarian rivers are forecast to remain unchanged at low levels this week, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology said.

A turnaround in river levels is unlikely in the coming days, with very little rain forecast across the Central European catchment area of the Danube this week, rarely exceeding 5 mm, data from Hungary's National Hydrology Service show.

--Balazs Szladek, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com