The Nord Stream 1 pipeline carries gas from Russia to Germany. Gazprom said it was “impossible” to recover a turbine for the pipeline after repairs due to sanctions. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said “there is nothing to prevent it being transported to Russia”. Something is loading.
The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline is missing a key turbine that is slowing natural gas flows from Russia to Europe, and Russia and Germany are caught in a blame game for the delay.
Gazprom has cut natural gas flows via Nord Stream 1 to Germany twice in the past two months. In June, Gazprom cut throughputs to around 40% of pipeline capacity, citing a stalled turbine in Canada following war-related sanctions. In July, Gazprom again cut off the flow of natural gas to Germany, this time at just 20% capacity, citing a second turbine that needed maintenance.
On July 10, Canada said it would waive sanctions and return the first repaired turbine to Russia to ensure continued gas flows to Europe. But, on July 13, Gazprom said it did not have the necessary documents to get the equipment out of Canada.
The first turbine, manufactured by Siemens Energy, is now in Germany awaiting transport to Russia. German Chancellor Olaf saw the equipment in Germany on Wednesday and said he was “ready for action at all times”, reported. “There is nothing preventing it from being transported to Russia,” added Scholz.
Christian Bruch, the head of Siemens Energy, said Wednesday the company was discussing the issue with Gazprom and wanted to return the turbine, The New York Times reported.
But Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Twitter on Wednesday that it was “impossible” to pick up the turbine “due to the gap between the current situation and existing contractual obligations on the part of Siemens.”
Also on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the turbine’s return to Russia depended on documents proving it was not subject to sanctions, reported.
Europe depends on Russia for 40% of its natural gas needs, such as cooking in homes and lighting power plants. He worries about a winter energy crisis because Russia has slowed the flow of natural gas to countries in the region, some buyers refusing to pay in rubles, and because of the turbine drama.
German industry leaders have warned of severe economic hardship if Russian gas is to be cut off altogether. To save energy, Europe’s largest economy has already started switching off heating and lighting in the summer.