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Global Economy

How important is the turbine really?

It is uncertain whether gas will flow through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 again from Thursday. The maintenance work on the most important supply line from Russia to Germany should be completed this Thursday. But according to the Russian Gazprom group, a turbine from Siemens Energy, which Canada has long held back because of sanctions after Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, is still missing.

The Russian Gazprom group asked Siemens on Saturday to return the turbine repaired in Canada in order to be able to ensure the continued operation of the pipeline from Russia to Germany. The turbine is important for the Portovaya compressor station, which in turn is essential for the operation of Nord Stream 1, Gazprom said.

Where is the turbine at the moment?

It was not clarified where the turbine was and when it will be installed. The manufacturer Siemens Energy did not want to provide any information on the current state of affairs today. It remains the case that "our goal is to transport the turbine to its place of use as quickly as possible," it said on request in Munich. The Federal Ministry of Economics also did not provide any specific information on the current whereabouts of the component at midday.

The Russian newspaper "Kommersant" reports, citing people familiar with the events, that the turbine was repaired and delivered by plane from Canada to Germany on Sunday. If there are no problems with logistics or customs, it will take another five to seven days for the turbine to arrive in Russia, Kommersant writes. If that is the case, it would already be clear that the appointment on Thursday will not be possible.

How important is the turbine really?

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Economics contradicts the Gazprom representation that the turbine is an indispensable component; rather it is only a replacement turbine. "It is a replacement turbine for use in September," said a spokeswoman for the ministry. It was an excuse from the Russian side that the gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline had to be throttled because of the maintenance of this turbine.

The statements from the house of Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) also imply that the resumption of gas deliveries should not actually depend on when the component arrives in Russia. Nevertheless, observers consider it conceivable that Gazprom will at least delay the resumption of gas deliveries, citing the lack of a turbine.

Will Gazprom turn on the gas tap again?

A few days ago, the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, Franziska Brantner (Greens), emphasized on the news website ntv.de that the current delivery cuts have a purely political basis and not a technical one.

Because no gas has flowed through Nord Stream 1 since July 11 due to maintenance work. It remains to be seen whether Russia will actually turn on the gas tap again after the work has been completed. Even before the start of the ten-day maintenance work, Gazprom had throttled the flow of gas through the pipeline by 60 percent. This drove up the already high gas prices.

Uniper draws a billion-dollar loan from KfW

The utility Uniper, which has gotten into trouble because of the consequences of skyrocketing prices, is now using a multi-billion dollar loan from the state-owned development bank KfW. "Uniper today drew down the existing KfW credit facility in the amount of two billion euros and thus fully utilized the facility," the group announced today.

According to a Uniper spokesman, how long the funds will last depends on the further development of the gas market. Uniper is in close contact with its banks and the federal government, he emphasized. The aim is to stabilize the company financially. Uniper had asked the federal government for help, and talks are currently underway about a rescue with state aid.

BDI: Regulate the gas supply

The President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Siegfried Russwurm, expects that Germany will face "a long-term gas shortage". He demands that the supply of natural gas be reorganized in the event of a shortage. "The current prioritization rules in a gas shortage were created for a short-term interruption of individual lines," he said today.

"Politicians in Berlin and Brussels must create a new regulation for the tough new energy reality. This must hold all parts of society accountable according to their ability to perform." Now "every kilowatt hour saved on gas and electricity counts," he said. "In addition to companies, municipalities and countries, private consumers must become part of the massive energy saving campaign."

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