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Global Economy

Gazprom questions Nord Stream operations

According to its own statements, the Russian energy giant Gazprom cannot make a forecast for the continued operation of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. The reason is that there are doubts about the return of a Siemens turbine from Canada, the group said.

Gazprom has not yet received any written confirmation that the repaired turbine will actually be delivered to the company responsible for the installation, Siemens, the statement said. Under these circumstances, it is also not possible to predict how safe the continued operation of the compressor station required for Nord Stream 1 will be.

The federal government had previously stated that with the delivery of the turbine serviced in Canada, there was no longer any reason for Russia to throttle gas supplies through Nord Stream 1. The pipeline is currently being maintained until July 21 anyway.

Dispute over delivery of turbine

The Canadian government officially announced at the weekend that the turbine could be delivered to Germany. A direct delivery to Gazprom would have violated Canadian sanctions against Russia. The US government welcomed the step, as did Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Ukraine, on the other hand, had sharply criticized him, and a Ukrainian exile organization wants to sue.

Last month, Russia had already reduced the flow rate to 40 percent of the total capacity of the pipeline, citing the delayed return of the plants serviced by Siemens Energy in Canada. Chancellor Scholz had described technical reasons for the throttling as advanced and accused Russia of using gas supplies as a political weapon. The government had announced that they had nevertheless campaigned for the delivery of the turbine so as not to give Russia an excuse.

Siemens: Transport the turbine as soon as possible

The Siemens group recently announced that it would install the turbine as soon as possible. A spokesman for Siemens-Energy said that the political decision in Canada to allow the turbine to be exported is a necessary and important first step. "Our experts are currently working flat out on all other formal approvals and logistics," he said when asked. These are, among other things, processes that are subject to export and import controls. "Our goal is to transport the turbine to its place of use as quickly as possible."

On the other hand, Gazprom said today that it had "not a single document that would allow Siemens to take the gas turbine engine that is currently being repaired in Canada out of the country."

Gas storage has almost come to a standstill

Regular maintenance work, which had been planned for a long time, has been carried out on the pipeline since Monday. They should last around ten days. However, there are doubts as to whether gas will actually flow again after that.

The storage of gas in Germany almost came to a standstill when Russian supplies from Nord Stream 1 were stopped. Gas is currently still being stored net, a spokesman for the Federal Network Agency told the dpa news agency. "But that's at a very low level." As can be seen from the website of Europe's gas infrastructure operator (GIE), the fill level in German gas storage facilities recently rose by only 0.09 percent a day.

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