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Europe eyes coal to cope with reduced gas flows from Russia

Europe's biggest Russian gas buyers are racing to find alternative fuel and could burn more coal to cope with reduced gas flows from Russia that threaten an energy crisis in winter if stores are not refilled.

Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have all signalled that coal-fired power plants could help see the continent through a crisis that has sent gas prices surging and added to the challenge facing policymakers battling inflation.

Italy's Eni said it was told by Russia's Gazprom that it would receive only part of its request for gas supplies today, pushing the country closer to declaring a state of alert that will trigger gas saving measures.

Germany, which has also experienced lower Russian flows, announced Sunday its latest plan to boost gas storage levels and said it could restart coal-fired power plants that it had aimed to phase out.



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