Siemens said in 2017 that it was reviewing its Russian enterprises after claiming that four of its power-generating turbines meant for southern Russia had been delivered to Crimea, which is subject to western sanctions on technology supplies after Moscow seized the peninsula in 2014.
But last October Siemens said it was ready to participate in the modernisation of Russia’s installations.
And last week a meeting between Gazprom chief executive Alexey Miller and Siemens boss Joe Kaeser was held in St Petersburg.
Gazprom, whose electricity subsidiary Gazprom Energoholding is one of Russia’s biggest power providers, plans to open a power station in the Chechen capital, Grozny, with a capacity of around 360 megawatts. The expected opening date is next year.
Kaeser and Miller agreed on the supply of equipment for the thermal power station. According to the contract, Siemens will transport, install and begin operations of the two gas turbines for the power station.
Chechnya separatists fought two wars against Russia after the 1991 Soviet collapse but the insurgency was crushed after President Vladimir Putin took office in 2000.
Chechnya’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close Putin ally, has been blacklisted as part of western sanctions against Russia but Chechen firms are not subject to sanctions.
Siemens tried to distance itself from a Crimean sanctions scandal last year, halting deliveries of power equipment to Russian state-controlled firms and reviewing supply deals.
The group said at the time it had credible evidence that all four gas turbines it delivered in 2016 for a project in southern Russia had been illegally moved to Crimea.
Russia was accused of disregarding European Union sanctions, flouting its original agreement with Siemens and going back on assurances made to the German government.
In April 2015, it was reported that Siemens had won the contract to supply of the equipment for a thermal installation being built by Gazprom Energoholding.
Meanwhile, the Siemens Gamesa renewable energy subsidiary will supply equipment for wind turbines being commissioned by Enel Russia.
Enel Russia boss Carlo Villamagna announced: “We managed to convince one of the Russian suppliers to deliver and realise this equipment… This is very important because the investment will not only benefit Enel Russia, but also our partner providing a wind turbine.
“This means a new production facility in Russia, new jobs and new technologies,” Villamagna said.
“At last I am allowed to announce the name of our major partner, Siemens will become our partner,” he added.
Gazprom has been heading east towards China. Picture credit: YouTube