Monday, July 18, 2022

VIDEO: Germany rejects Gazprom explanation: Turbine is a replacement turbine for use in September



1. Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas said it had received a letter from Russia’s Gazprom claiming “force majeure” – events beyond its control – as the reason for past and current shortfalls in gas deliveries, a claim that the customer rejected.

Germany’s government has said that a turbine at the centre of uncertainty about future gas deliveries through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe was only supposed to be installed in September, underlining its insistence that there should be no technical obstacle to the gas flow.

“We don’t see technical reasons,” Ministry for Economic Affairs spokeswoman Beate Baron told reporters in Berlin. “Our information is that this turbine is a replacement turbine that was earmarked for use in September but, again, we are doing everything to take away possible pretexts for the Russian side.”
2. Industrial companies across Germany are facing a real prospect of scaling down operations or shutting down completely if natural gas flows from Russia stop, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

According to the publication, Germany’s largest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and the world’s largest chemicals company BASF have both warned that without sufficient natural gas supply, their factories could be forced to idle or shut down completely, and could even suffer technical damage.

“[Without Russian gas supplies,] we have to stop [production] immediately, from 100 to zero,” said Petr Cingr, the chief executive of SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz, Germany’s largest ammonia producer and a key European fertilizer supplier.

The warning comes amid uncertainty over gas supply from Russia, as the country’s state energy giant Gazprom was forced to slash its deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 60% last month over a technical issue stemming from anti-Russia sanctions.

The pipeline is currently shut down entirely for annual maintenance that’s due to finish on July 21. However, many in Germany and the EU fear that Russia will not turn the flow back on when the maintenance is completed, for political reasons.

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