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German chancellor blames Russia for gas turbine fiasco

The component that Gazprom PJSC has named as cause of reduced gas supply is ready for redeployment, say both German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Siemens Energy AG’s CEO.

Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP / AFP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Russia is to blame for problems shipping a turbine used to pump natural gas into pipeline Nord Stream 1 – an issue at the center of Europe’s ongoing gas crisis, reports Bloomberg News.

The piece of hardware Gazprom PJSC says has caused reduced gas flow to the continent is now ready for use, say both Scholz and Siemens Energy AG President and Chief Executive Christian Bruch, according to the US business media.

“What’s important to me is to make it clear that this turbine is ready for action at any time,” Scholz said. “There is nothing preventing it from being transported to Russia,” Bloomberg sites the chancellor saying.

While Moscow limits the flow of fuel through Nord Stream 1, Europe’s largest economy is facing a tight energy supply this coming winter that risks triggering a recession, possibly obliging the federal republic to impose gas rationing.

The gas turbine – stalled in Canada after being repaired at Siemens Energy’s factory where the turbine was made – has stirred controversy in recent weeks. Russia has said that the equipment, held back by sanctions, is crucial for maintaining supply to Europe, while Germany has called the Kremlin’s claim a bluff.

After the period of hiatus, Canada decided to permit the turbine’s transport to Germany, where the component has since been waiting on a green light from Moscow.

Russian gas giant Gazprom has gradually reduced gas flow through the pipeline, citing technical issues and lacking documentation for the turbine.

Nord Stream 1 has been transmitting roughly 20% of capacity following the fuel cuts.

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