“Under normal circumstances, the maintenance of turbines is a routine operation for us. Naturally, we want to transport the turbine to its place of operation as quickly as possible. However, the time it takes is not exclusively within our control,” a spokesman for Siemens Energy, the manufacturer for the turbine, said in an emailed statement Thursday.
The turbine, only a spare part for the pipeline, was sent to Siemens Energy’s Montreal site for repairs but became stranded due to sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas industry unveiled last month.
Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck proposed a workaround whereby the part would be delivered first to Germany, and from there to Russia.
“Sometimes one has the impression that Russia does not want to take it back,” Habeck told reporters on Thursday. He confirmed that the turbine arrived in Germany earlier this week but didn’t provide further details. “As soon as it reaches Russian territory and is handed over to Gazprom, we will announce that,” he said.
Gazprom last week said it requested documents from Siemens that will allow the return of the turbine. The papers, which the Russian gas giant requested July 15, should help move it amid sanctions regimes in Canada and the European Union back to the Portovaya compressor station — “a critical facility for the Nord Stream gas pipeline,” the firm said Saturday.
Reuters reported earlier Thursday that the turbine was held up in transit in Cologne after returning from Canada and that Moscow had so far not provided documents needed to import it into Russia, including details on where exactly to deliver it and via which customs station.
Portovaya is located about 20 kilometers from the Finnish border on the Russian side.
–With assistance from Kati Pohjanpalo, Wilfried Eckl-Dorna and Arne Delfs.