Austria joins European return to coal power: press
Austria’s state-owned power utility Verbund has been ordered to revive its shuttered Mellach coal-fired power station south of Vienna as a hedge against reduced natural gas availability, Bloomberg reported June 20.
“The government and Verbund have agreed to convert the Mellach district heating plant, which is currently shut down, so that electricity can be produced again from coal in an emergency,” chancellor Karl Nehammer’s coalition said in a statement.
Austria’s move came the same day Germany announced that it too would turn to coal for power generation in an effort to conserve natural gas supplies ahead of the winter heating season.
The Mellach facility, which also includes a gas-fired combined cycle plant, provides heat and electricity to Graz, Austria’s second-largest city. After the coal station was closed two years ago, Verbund turned it into a research centre studying the use of hydrogen as a power-generation fuel, Bloomberg said.