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Austria To Reopen Coal Mothballed Power Station As Russia Restricts Gas Supplies

20 Jun 2022

    

Amidst the bottleneck in the power supply chain, the Austrian government Sunday said that it would reopen a mothballed coal power station in Mellach district.

Amidst the bottleneck in the power supply chain, the Austrian government Sunday said that it would reopen a mothballed coal power station in Mellach district. As Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine enters day 117, the Kremlin has halted fuel supplies to at least three European Countries namely Finland, Poland and Bulgaria. While Russia threatens to expand the list, many European countries are turning to coal as an alternative to imported hydrocarbons. 

EU member Austria is heavily dependent on Russian Fuel imports and previously said that it would take years for the country to completely phase out gas imports. According to Barron’s, the government held a crisis meeting following which the decision was announced. The chancellery announced that authorities would work with the country’s main electricity supplier- Verbund group, to get the station back in power. Located south of Graz, the plant was last used in 2020 to generate energy. 

Speaking to Austria Press Agency, the country's environment ministry said, "The aim is to reduce dependence on Russia so as not to be open to blackmail."

Enough fuel in storage

Meanwhile, in a separate report, the OMV, which is an Austrian multinational integrated oil, gas and petrochemical firm, said that as compared to the previous days, around half less gas was being delivered to Austria than usual. However, the country has the gas secured in its storage facilities. At present, the storage with a total capacity of 25,289 GWh is already 64 per cent full, making the country the second across the EU in stockpiling. 

READ | Putin ready to fulfil gas commitments to Austria & discuss prisoner swap with Kyiv: Report

Not only Austria, but almost the whole of the European continent has turned to coal for energy. The sudden resurge in demands for fossil fuel has led to a temporary halt in the closure of landmines. Recently, Greece opened its Kozani mines to extract coal. Meanwhile, war-ravaged Ukraine has announced to ban the export of coal, gas and fuel oil to meet the domestic demands. According to the statement released by the Ukrainian government on Monday, the Zelenskyy administration has passed a resolution that prohibited the export of coal, fuel oil and domestically produced gas in a list of commodities whose export is restricted at a time of war.

READ | Austria Chancellor says Russian gas embargo 'not an issue' in next package of EU sanctions