3 Aug 2022 11:54

Scholz visits Nord Stream turbine serviced in Canada, says nothing preventing it from being shipped to Russia -reports

BERLIN. Aug 3 (Interfax) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited a site in Muelheim an der Ruhr in northwestern Germany where a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline serviced in Canada is being kept on Wednesday.

Scholz visited the site together with Siemens Energy executives. The turbine is "ready for onward transport to Russia," European media quoted Siemens Energy as saying ahead of the visit.

At full capacity, The Nord Stream pipeline (NS1) from Russia to Europe can pump up to 167 million cubic meters of gas per day, but capacity has been falling due to disruptions in the maintenance schedule for compressor equipment at the Portovaya compressor station that feeds the pipeline. It has gas pumping turbines from Rolls-Royce, whose gas turbine business was subsequently acquired by Germany's Siemens.

The delays are due to sanctions that Canada imposed against Gazprom, as a result of which one turbine was not returned to Russia on time from Siemens Energy's service center in Montreal. Meanwhile, the time has come for maintenance on other turbines, both due to them reaching the end of their operating period between repairs and due to breakdowns.

Russia believes a sanctions waiver guarantee is needed not just from Canada but also from the EU and the UK for the turbine to be returned without impediment and for other Nord Stream turbines to be serviced.

Bloomberg quoted Scholz as saying during the visit to the turbine that there were no obstacles on Germany's part to shipping the serviced turbine to Russia and that this could be done quickly, as soon as Russia wanted. 'There is nothing preventing it from being transported to Russia," said.

European media quoted a Siemens Energy executive as saying the company was in dialog with Gazprom regarding transporting the turbine but that there was no agreement. Russia had been assured that no obstacles to transferring the turbine were seen.