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CORRECTED-EUROPE POWER-Curve contracts rally as gas crunch looms, spot up on tight supply

(Corrects Dec CO2 allowances to 84.90 euros, not 95.75 euros, in ninth paragraph)

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) - European power curve prices soared on Monday as uncertainty about gas supplies out of Russia dominated the market in the wake of last week’s call for state help by major German utility Uniper.

Governments have to prepare to help more companies squeezed between expensive spot gas and under-supply from inexpensive long-term contracts that are not being met by Russia amid east-west confrontations over war in Ukraine and sanctions.

German year-ahead baseload power was just below a new contract high at 1030 GMT, trading 11.6% higher at 327.5 euros ($342.20) a megawatt hour (MWh), while the equivalent French contract set a new record 393 euros, up 7.8%, in one trade move.

Several German and French monthly and quarterly contracts stood at record levels.

Uniper said gas receipts remain at 40% of normal levels while the wider market is factoring in possible long-term disruptions after maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline ends after a routine closure July 11-21.

Germany’s energy regulator warned in a Monday media interview that 15 billion euros worth of credit lines provided by the government to buy gas for storage facilities may not be enough to plug gaps.

On Saturday, the regulator listed priority areas for power access that would have to be protected if there were severe gas shortfalls.

Daily flows of Russian gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and through Ukraine were steady.

European CO2 allowances for December 2022 expiry were 0.8% down at 84.90 euros a tonne.

Spot power was higher resulting from to tight supply and rising demand.

French utility EDF saw around 1 gigawatt (GW) of nuclear power capacity curbed until 1500 CET on Monday due to a strike at its Saint Alban 1 reactor, which boosted some hourly prices on the EPEX SPOT bourse to above 400 euros.

French nuclear availability had dropped by 1.4 percentage points from its level on Friday to stand at 47.9% of capacity.

Germany’s day ahead baseload power contract was at 321 euros/MWh, up 1.3% and the equivalent French contract was at 375 euros, up 3.9%.

$1 = 0.9570 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Arun Koyyur and David Goodman

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