- Title: Russia will struggle to turn on Siemens turbines in sanctions-bound Crimea
- Date: 20th July 2017
- Summary: FEODOSIA, CRIMEA (JULY 11, 2017) (REUTERS) CRANES IN PORT TWO PIECES OF EQUIPMENT COVERED WITH BLUE TARPAULIN UNDER CRANES / ANOTHER PIECE COVERED WITH GREY TARPAULIN ON PLATFORM EQUIPMENT COVERED WITH GREY TARPAULIN SEEN PAST VAN AND RUBBLE COVERED EQUIPMENT IN PORT VIEW OF PORT EQUIPMENT IN PORT VIEW OF EQUIPMENT IN PORT VARIOUS OF EQUIPMENT IN PORT PIECE EARLIER COVERED WITH GREY TARPAULIN NOW OVERLAID WITH BLUE TARPAULIN ON PLATFORM VARIOUS OF CRANES AND EQUIPMENT UNDERNEATH THEM POLICE BOAT NEAR PORT / OFFICER STEPPING DOWN FEODOSIA, CRIMEA (JULY 12-13, 2017) (REUTERS) EQUIPMENT BEING MOVED OUT OF FEODOSIA PORT AREA VEHICLE DRIVING AWAY WITH COVERED EQUIPMENT IN TOW NEAR FEODOSIA, CRIMEA (JULY 13, 2017) (REUTERS) VEHICLES AND SECURITY IN DISTANCE AS EQUIPMENT IS TRANSPORTED LINE OF VEHICLES INCLUDING POLICE CARS AS EQUIPMENT IS TRANSPORTED
- Embargoed: 3rd August 2017 18:30
- Keywords: Ukraine crisis Russia Siemens turbines delivery Crimea
- Location: FEODOSIA AND NEAR FEODOSIA, CRIMEA
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016QIUSZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Russia outfoxed European Union sanctions by delivering gas turbines made by Germany's Siemens to the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea. Now for the hard part, switching them on.
No Russian company, according to Reuters data, has ever got a Siemens turbine working without the help of the manufacturer.
In this case, Siemens said the turbines were shipped to Crimea behind its back and is refusing to be involved, leaving Moscow to work out how to start them up to fulfil President Vladimir Putin's promise to give Crimea a stable power supply.
Gas turbines appeared to have been delivered to Russian-controlled Crimea last week, according to two Reuters reporters who saw the equipment at the port of Feodosia.
Reuters has no independent confirmation the equipment on the dock was Siemens-made turbines. It comprised four cylindrical objects, several metres long, and covered with blue and grey tarpaulins.
Their dimensions and shape match publicly-available photographs of Siemens gas turbine systems, which each consist of two major components: the turbine itself and a generator.
Siemens last week said that at least two of a total of four turbines it sold to Russian state firm Technopromexport had been delivered to Crimea against its wishes and without its knowledge. Russia seized the region from Ukraine in 2014 and it is now subject to European sanctions on energy technology.
Siemens has filed a lawsuit against its Russian customer over the delivery of the turbines to Crimea and says it will do everything in its power to block their installation and commissioning.
If Russia can somehow get the turbines operating at the two new power plants under construction, having already irked Europe by delivering them, it will again demonstrate its ability to thumb its nose at the sanctions.
Ten industry specialists who spoke to Reuters said starting up the turbines without engineers from Siemens or its partners would be a tough test of the country's engineering resourcefulness, fraught with technical problems, expensive and a legal minefield.
But the majority of the specialists said it can be done - even if it has never been attempted before.
A firm involved in building the Crimean power plants had hired a Russian company called Interavtomatika, which is 45.7 percent owned by Siemens, to help turn on the turbines, according to three sources familiar with the project.
Since then, Siemens said it has got a written undertaking from Interavtomatika that it will halt any activities connected to Crimea.
In an implied threat to pull out of the venture, a company source familiar with the matter has also said Siemens is reviewing its engagement in its Russian businesses. The source declined to say whether that could affect Interavtomatika and Siemens declined to comment.
EU companies are banned from transferring energy technology to Crimea under the sanctions, imposed after Moscow seized the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. But, in a loophole Moscow seems to have exploited, their Russian subsidiaries are not directly liable.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None