Electricity Supply in Styria At Risk

12/4/2002Wien

VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) and STEWEAG-STEG are speaking up for a quick completion of the 380-kV-maximum voltage grid to preserve Styria’s attractiveness as business location.

The existing maximum voltage grid has been running to the limits of its capacity. The electricity supply for Styria according to the international standard can no longer be guaranteed. The connection with the low-priced European electricity market, which is necessary for a positive development of this economic zone, is at risk. By closing the 380 kV-grid in Styria VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) is offering a decisive step in infrastructure development. The problematic grid situation in Styria requires quick action; therefore the environmental impact analysis (UVP) for the line project will be launched already in the year 2003.

At a joint press conference in Graz, VERBUND-APG and STEWEAG-STEG GmbH presented a memorandum in which both companies urge the priority of the situation and offer the adequate solutions. Full electricity supply, the precondition for a further development of Styria as a thriving economic area, can only be guaranteed if the 380 kV-line from southern Burgenland to Graz and its surroundings is built quickly.

The outdated existing 220 kV-maximum voltage grid has been running to capacity and reached its limits; the current output can no longer be increased. Since it was put into operation the electricity consumption in Austria has quintupled, whereas the north-south grid remained more or less the same. In central Styria the power consumption even increased tenfold within the same period of time. In addition to that the main areas of consumption have shifted massively to Graz and its surroundings and to southern Styria due to disproportionate increases in supply loads resulting from the development of industrial parks in those regions. “The power failure in February 2002, that was caused by network congestion, shows that critical network situations arise in Styria already today”, explains Dr. Franz Strempfl, manager of the 110 kV-network company STEWEAG-STEG. “A feed-in from the maximum voltage grid in eastern Styria will create the second backing we need for the high-consumption area of Graz and its surroundings”.

It follows from this that unhindered economic development and the concomitant increase in energy consumption are no longer possible with the existing grid capacities. “From our point of view the development of additional consumption-intensive industrial parks in the Mur/Muerz area and in Graz and its surroundings are only possible if massive measures are taken to open up bottlenecks already today. Although filling the gap in the 380 kV-grid between southern Burgenland and Kainachtal will cost approx. € 120 million, this step is of decisive importance for the preservation and development of Styria as an attractive business location”, says APG company president Thomas Karall.

“It is our declared goal to realize the 380 kV-project in agreement with the representatives of the affected region, to the population’s satisfaction, and to ensure a maximal conservation of the environment”, promises Dr. Heinz Kaupa, APG company president. “We have done this successfully in Burgenland”. The launch of a comprehensive environmental impact analysis (UVP) meets the demands of the local authorities and the express request of the Styrian governor Ms. Waltraud Klasnic.