Nord Stream gas line goes deeper as Gazprom airs new turbine complaints

Pipes from the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline landing facilities are pictured in Lubmin, Germany March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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  • This content was produced in Russia where the law limits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, July 29 (Reuters) – The delivery of a Nord Stream 1 gas turbine to Germany from Canada after maintenance was not in accordance with the contract, the chief executive of Gazprom (GAZP.MM) said on Friday. multiplying the criticisms against the manufacturer Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE).

The comments signaled the deepening of a row in which Russia cited turbine problems as the reason for cutting gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 – its main gas link to Europe – to just 20% of its capacity from Wednesday.

Vitaly Markelov, deputy general manager of Gazprom, also said that Russia had repeatedly complained to Siemens Energy about problems with other turbines.

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“We repeatedly asked the Russian representative office of Siemens about this, sent 10 letters. Siemens fixed no more than a quarter of the identified bugs,” he said in a TV interview.

He cited the serial numbers of three other motors that needed repairs from Siemens due to breakdowns in May and June that put them in a forced shutdown state.

Siemens Energy declined to respond to Markelov’s comments. The company referred to a previous statement made on Wednesday in which it said it had no access to the turbines on site and had not received any damage reports from Gazprom and therefore had to assume the turbines were operating normally.

The European Union disputes Russia and Gazprom’s argument that turbine problems are behind the sharp drop in supply through the gas pipeline that connects Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. The shortfall has increased the risk of gas shortages and rationing in Europe this winter.

Siemens Energy previously responded to Gazprom’s criticism of its service by saying it was up to the Russian company to file customs paperwork for the return of the turbine.

As the two sides trade economic blows since Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, the European Union has accused Russia of energy blackmail, which the Kremlin denies.

Markelov said the turbine that had been serviced in Canada has still not returned to Russia.

“He was sent to Germany, not Russia, without Gazprom’s consent,” he said, adding that this created sanctions risks.

Gazprom must also send for repair other turbines at the Portovaya compressor station. “It is not clear that the maintenance of gas turbine engines will not fall under sanctions,” Markelov said.

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Reuters reporting; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, David Holmes and Jane Merriman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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