Still massive electricity shortfall in November

The Belgian energy minister Marghem is searching for alternative sources of energy now that six of the country's nuclear reactors will be offline in November due to maintenance and there are fears of power cuts.  Ms Marghem now says that in only four days she has found an extra 750 Megawatts.  

Electricity producer Engie Electrabel is guaranteeing extra capacity, mainly by using extra capacity at gas-fuelled power stations.  Ms Marghem says the news is a first step, but will not be sufficient.

 Engie Electrabel is enlisting the help of the Bulgarian-owned gas-fuelled plant in Vilvoorde to generate an extra 250 Megawatts.  If need be an extra 100 Megawatts can be generated here to.  Support units should provide a further 200 Megawatts, while the generation of a further 200 Megawatts is being examined.

The energy minister has been in contact with Dutch, French and German colleagues.  Belgium already imports a lot of foreign power, but Germany could be useful additional source.

VRT understands that the shortfall this winter could total up to 1,700 Megawatts a day.  Even with the extra 750 Megawatts now found there remains a massive shortfall of nearly 1,000 Megawatts, the production of one large nuclear reactor.