Scholz on the Russian blockade of his gas turbine: "There is always some excuse for something not to work"


The foreign minister explodes at the “lack of reasons for it not to be delivered” and accuses Gazprom of not wanting to receive it or blocking the delivery

Germany finds on its own territory the lost turbine that ensures the supply of Russian gas

A picture is worth a thousand words and the photo of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz next to the turbine of the disagreement with the Russian giant Gazprom says it all. “The turbine is there, it can be delivered. Now someone has to say they want it and then it will be shipped very quickly.“, declared Scholz next to the huge part that was deactivated from the Nord Stream 1 for repair in Canada and already at the headquarters of the Siemens Energy company.

Scholz traveled to the German city of Mulheim an der Ruhr with one sole intention: to publicly dismantle the arguments used by Gazprom for not resuming gas supplies to Germany and Europe at 100 percent of their capacity due to the lack of that turbine.

According to the chancellor, “all the technical reasons adduced (by Gazprom) are not understandable from the point of view of the facts” and, consequently, “there are no reasons why the turbine should not be delivered.” That is to say, that Gazprom does not want to receive it or is blocking the delivery. “There can always be some excuse why something doesn’t work,” Scholz said.

From Moscow, Gazprom reacted to the photo of the chancellor next to the turbine that supposedly caused the gas supply to drop to 40% and later to 20% due to problems in a second turbine, with the same arguments. The consortium has not yet received the necessary documents to reinstall the repaired turbine or a date for the repair of the second one. “Siemens technicians are in no hurry,” the Kremlin spokesman declared, Dmitry Peskovto the Interfax news agency.

Siemens Energy has repeatedly rejected accusations that it has not provided the relevant documentation and also finds no justification for cutting supply. According to the CEO of Siemens.Energy, Christian Bruchthe turbine in question is not essential.

“Currently there are six of these turbines connected in series at the Gazprom compression station of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Portovaya, near St. Petersburg (Russia), Portovaya. It is one more than is necessary to generate 100% of the energy. Now only one works, hence we are at 20%. We can’t understand it from a technical point of view, and we don’t have any other information that there shouldn’t be operational availability,” says Bruch. The fault that the gas does not arrive “is therefore not Siemens or its turbines,” he insists.

Become the symbol of the energy crisis that Europe is facing, the turbine in question is number 73 and like all the others it has a power of 88,000 hp – twice that of a Bundeswehr frigate. It measures 5.7 meters long and 2.6 wide. Its construction is similar to the aircraft engine. More than 10,000 individual parts have to be put together for it to work. It can weigh up to 120 tons and has a performance of 3,600 revolutions per minute. More than 100,000 gas turbines of this type are in use worldwide. They are used to maintain pressure in a gas pipeline or to produce energy in gas-fired power plants.

In Portovya, the starting point of the pipeline, the turbines send the compressors that propel the gas at 220 bars of pressure. British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce developed originally the Trent turbines as aircraft engines; like the “Trent 800” powers Boeing’s 777 long-haul airliner, for example. Meanwhile, Type 800 turbines have become technically obsolete in flight.

Number 73 had been in service for a long time when Siemens Energy acquired the industrial turbine division of Rolls-Royce in 2014. Therefore, the maintenance of the turbines is carried out in the old Rolls-Royce facilities in Montreal (Canada), a country that does not allow the direct delivery of the revised turbines to Russia due to the current sanctions. So the turbine was first flown from Montreal to Cologne/Bonn airport, and then by truck to Mülheim an der Ruhr. This complies with Canadian law.

However, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had to endure much criticism in his country for the measure. He is accused of evading sanctions and a parliamentary commission has been set up to investigate the matter. The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, visiting Canada, thanked her colleague Mélanie Joly for handing over the piece to Germany as a sign of the strength of the West against Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin was waging a hybrid war. He wanted to sow division in our alliance and this cannot be allowed to happen,” Baerbock stressed.

Waiting for Gazprom to make a move, the turbine will remain at the Siemens facilities. Scholz has concluded his anti-Russian propaganda mission by showing off the unit, but there is still no red bunting.


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