Germany needs Nord Stream-2

The misadventures of gas pumping units (GPU), which ensure the pumping of gas through the Nord Stream, continue

Germany needs Nord Stream-2
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The first turbine to be repaired, a key part of the GPU, was sent to Canada (to the manufacturing plant) in December. According to the plans agreed with the Siemens company responsible for its maintenance, it was supposed to deliver the unit back in May. After that, the rest of the turbines were to be sequentially sent for repairs.

As Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Gazprom, noted in his speech, one of the turbines waiting for its turn was ready for shipment to Canada in April. And two more were planned to be taken away in June and July. All of these units require a major overhaul. Strictly on schedule.

And three more turbines in the period from May to June issued 11 emergency failures. They cannot be exploited. The specialists of the same Siemens are responsible for the maintenance. Of the identified faults, they eliminated only a quarter.

Here it is worth pausing and wondering what a citizen of our country associates with German industrial enterprises. Perhaps not least with quality, order and responsibility. But Siemens decided to break this pattern.

To begin with, it denied the existence of any claims from Gazprom. Like, it did not receive any reports of damage to the turbines. But the Russian side posted the correspondence, from which it became clear that the German company, to put it mildly, was being disingenuous. That is, there were problems, Siemens knew about them, but was in no hurry to fully solve them. This thesis is confirmed by the current situation.

The turbine, which was in Canadian captivity, was rescued. But it was only able to get as far as Germany. Where it got stuck, since Siemens failed to fully take into account all the bureaucratic obstacles that stood in the way of its cooperation with Gazprom. In other words, the Russian side needed a whole package of documents that would substantiate changes in existing obligations and give guarantees that the German company would fulfill its functions in servicing the Portovaya CS equipment. But Siemens employees apparently decided that paperwork was too difficult. And in general, shouldn’t Gazprom take the gentlemen’s word for it?

While bureaucratic issues were being resolved, the turbine disappeared. More precisely, no one could clearly explain where it was at the moment. And here it was found by Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself. Found, carefully examined and stated that he sees no obstacles to sending her to Russia. The German government also stated that GPAs are not subject to EU sanctions, so no additional documents are required.

Let’s be honest – it’s required. Everything stated by the leaders of Germany orally must be transferred to paper, provided with the appropriate details and sent to Gazprom for review. Actually, the Russian side has previously stated this: among other things, it wants to obtain a document guaranteeing that the turbine is not subject to sanctions.

It may seem that this is a mockery on the Russian side, but no, this is a common practice. For example, the United States has repeatedly published explanations of its sanctions at the request of worried companies. So, Allseas, which built Nord Stream 2, successfully applied for such an explanation.

Now the German side is strenuously pretending that it does not understand the elementary rules of conduct in such situations and claims that all the conditions for transporting the turbine have been met and only the participation of Gazprom is missing.

At the same time, the sanctions regimes of Canada, the EU, the UK and the inconsistency of the current situation with the current contractual obligations on the part of Siemens make the delivery of the 073 engine to the Portovaya compressor station impossible, Gazprom said.

In the meantime, the situation for European consumers is alarming. Nord Stream is capable of pumping no more than 33 million cubic meters per day. Some of the alternative routes are either not operated or are not fully operated due to sanctions reasons. This is extremely worrying for the key consumer – the industry.

European (and, first of all, German) industry has been actively speaking in the media since March of this year, demanding not to touch Russian gas, otherwise entire industries may cease to exist. And formally, the voice of large enterprises was heard – the European Commission did not touch on the gas issue when carrying out its sanctions exercises. This even saddened the most militant part of the Western public. However, European sanctions still hit supplies from Russia. It’s just that the EU leadership turned out to be a gathering of real professionals who were able to think through all the little things when working out anti-Russian restrictions. Therefore, several months were enough for the EU gas market to be covered by a price tsunami.

The most adequate position on this issue in Germany was expressed by former Chancellor Grehard Schroeder. He  absolutely fairly pointed out that the return of the traveling turbine would increase the Nord Stream load from the current 20% to a modest 40%. And he also called the launch of Nord Stream-2 the easiest way to solve the problem of blue fuel supplies.

It can be assumed that now we are really talking about significant problems for German industry, which talented leaders of the country are campaigning to save. Representatives of the industry, by the way, stated that there was nowhere to save further. And it is impossible to repair all the necessary turbines for Nord Stream in the near future. Therefore, the issue of restoring the supplies that the German economy needs again rests on the timely construction of Nord Stream-2.

Alexander Frolov, Izvestia newspaper

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