Finland May Need to Import 11% of Winter Power, Grid Says

Finland may need to import as much as 11 percent of its power use in the five-month winter period as demand surges amid freezing temperatures, according to the Nordic nation’s grid operator.

Demand may rise to as much as 15,000 megawatts through March while available supply will total 13,300 megawatts, triggering a need for imports from neighboring countries including Russia, Sweden and Estonia, Fingrid Oyj said today in an e-mailed statement. That’s in line with last year’s imports, grid data show.

Finland is dependent on electricity imports, which can cause power prices to soar in case of surges in demand or malfunctions in plants or cross-border cables. Imports from Russia, which have met more than 10 percent of demand in the past, have become uncertain since Finland’s eastern neighbor introduced a capacity tariff that made it unviable for it to export electricity since August 2011, Fingrid said.

“It will be interesting to see whether the differential between Russian and Finnish power prices will be big enough to trigger imports during a cold spell,” Reima Paeivinen, Fingrid’s vice president of power system operation, said today at a seminar in Helsinki.

The country’s power use was 12,841 megawatts at 11:36 a.m. Helsinki time with net imports at 2,595 megawatts, according to Fingrid’s website. The low temperature will be minus 14 degrees Celsius (7 Fahrenheit) in Helsinki today, compared with a 10- year average of minus 1 degree, CustomWeather Inc. data show.

A malfunction on a 550-megawatt cable with Sweden, Fenno- Skan-1, will restrict imports from the West until Jan. 25, according to a Nov. 26 filing with the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange in Oslo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at tfagerholm@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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