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

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(Updates afternoon prices, adds links to related content)

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 at 322.50 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) at 1505 GMT, up 9.9% but below an earlier contract high of 328 euros, while the equivalent French contract was at 390.80 euros, up 7.2% but below an earlier record of 393 euros.

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

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 is completed following a routine closure over July 11-21.

Germany's energy regulator warned in a Monday media interview that 15 billion euros 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 1% down at 84.77 euros a tonne.

Spot power was higher on tight supply and rising demand.

French utility EDF lost about 1 gigawatt (GW) of nuclear power capacity until 1500 CET on Monday because of 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 up 1.3% at 321 euros/MWh and the equivalent French contract was up 3.9% at 375 euros.

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

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