Germany urges Russia to take back turbine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday called on Russia to take back the repaired turbine for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and to turn up the volume of natural gas supply to the EU.
“Take it away. Here it is,” Scholz said at a press conference in Berlin.
The Nord Stream 1 gas turbine has become the focus of a deepening energy row between Russia and Germany, after having undergone maintenance in Canada. It was meant to be transported to the compressor station at the pipeline in Russia back in May, so that the gas flow to EU could be maintained at full capacity.
However, after weeks of delay in Canada over Ottawa’s refusal to return the critical part due to its sanctions on Moscow, it is now stuck in Germany. Russian energy major Gazprom has been insisting that Western sanctions are hindering the return of the turbine from Germany and threaten future equipment maintenance at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. According to the company, the paperwork for the part’s return is not in order as it was issued by Siemens Energy and not the firm that is contracted by Gazprom.
If the turbine is shipped to Russia, there is a risk that Canadian authorities will see this is as a breach of contract, and withdraw permission for further maintenance of turbines to be carried out on its soil, Gazprom insists.
Russian gas supplies to the EU via Nord Stream 1 dropped to 20% of their maximum level last month because only one of six turbines is currently operational. The rest are in need of overhaul. According to Gazprom, you need five turbines in operation in order to provide gas to the EU at full capacity. The missing equipment has been the key reason for supply cuts.
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