Another turbine is to be maintained: Putin threatens further gas throttling

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Germany suspended the approval process for Nord Stream 2, and the completed pipeline should not be put into operation.

Another turbine is to be maintained: Putin threatens further gas throttling

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Germany suspended the approval process for Nord Stream 2, and the completed pipeline should not be put into operation. This is exactly what Kremlin boss Putin apparently wants to force: he announces further turbine maintenance for Nord Stream 1.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warns against a further reduction in Russian gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. If Russia does not get back the turbine repaired in Canada, the daily throughput capacity of the pipeline threatens to fall significantly at the end of July, the Kremlin chief said on the sidelines of a night meeting in Tehran, according to the Russian state news agency Tass. "We still have a finished route - that's Nord Stream 2. We can put it into operation," Putin offered at the same time.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline was commissioned in 2011 and has a capacity of around 55 billion cubic meters per year. Since June, however, Russia's state energy giant Gazprom has reduced gas deliveries to Germany by more than half the daily maximum - to 67 million cubic meters. The pipeline is also currently completely shut down for annual maintenance work - until Thursday as planned. According to Putin, another turbine is due for maintenance on July 26.

If Russia does not get the repaired turbine back, the daily throughput capacity of the pipeline threatens to fall further to 33 million cubic meters at the end of July because of the necessary repair of "another unit", Putin said according to Tass. "There are two working machines there, they pump 60 million cubic meters per day... If one doesn't come back, there is one that pumps 30 million cubic meters. What does Gazprom have to do with it?" Putin said verbatim. The justification for the throttling with the missing turbine had previously been described by critics as a pretext.

The turbine repaired in Canada was not handed back to Russia because of Western sanctions as a result of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. Most recently, at the request of Berlin, the Canadian government decided to hand over the Siemens Energy turbine to Germany, so that it can be installed again. This should give Russia an excuse to permanently stop gas supplies or continue to curtail them, it said. However, Moscow emphasizes that it has not yet received the machine or the associated documents.

Putin's statements in Tehran also suggest that even after the maintenance work is complete and even if the turbine is installed, the pipeline may not be brought back up to full capacity. It is conceivable that Moscow wants to force the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 in this way. The pipeline was built in 2021, but the certification documents are still missing. The permitting process for the line was suspended by Germany after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

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