Russia’s Technopromexport finally admits turbines in occupied Crimea are from Siemens

The Siemens SGT5-2000E. Photo: energybase.ru

The Siemens SGT5-2000E. Photo: energybase.ru 

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Technopromexport, the company which purchased four gas turbines from Siemens, has finally admitted that it has delivered those turbines to occupied Crimea after modernizing them. It also states that prior to the delivery, an attempt was made to sell the turbines back to Siemens, but the German company refused. Apart from that, Technopromexport finally admitted that the turbines delivered to Crimea were the ones it purchased from Siemens in 2015.

Speaking to journalists on 28 July 2017, a Technopromexport representative stated that it had not received any offers from  Siemens to buy back the turbines which were delivered to Crimea in breach of EU sanctions, but had offered for Siemens to buy them back in 2016,  TASS reported.

Technopromexport did not receive any formal proposals from Siemens to buy back the turbines. It was decided to sell the equipment in connection to the bankruptcy of the company on teh decision of the court. Moreover, in 2016, on the initiative of Technopromexport, Siemens was officially offered to buy back the turbine units, a corresponding open contest was made, but the Siemens concern refused this offer. The turbines were sold to another company,” the representative said, TASS reported.

However, this contrasts with the fact that in October 2015, OAO Technopromexport was not in legal possession of the turbines.

“Currently, the turbines have undergone modernization and have been adjusted to meet the requirements of the [Crimean – Ed] project. […] In this, Russian know-how has been used, additional equipment has been purchased. The company has paid for transporting, installing the equipment, and certification,” the representative stated.

Sources of the Russian RBC.ru noted that the turbines were modified on Rostec factories, and their components were changed with the help of the Russian company ZAO Interavtomatika, 45.7% shares of which belong to Siemens, and which has all the keys to the protocols of the gas turbines.  But a project participant told the outlet that no serious “modernization” was done; another interlocutor asserted that a Siemens turbine will remain as such even if a number of details are replaced.

As we reported earlier, Siemens is in the middle of a scandal connected to its turbines turning out in occupied Crimea. EU sanctions forbid helping to power the occupied peninsula, which prior to the Russian landgrab in 2014 had received 80% of its energy from mainland Ukraine. Siemens has blamed its Russian partner for breaking the conditions of the contract and pressed charges against its partner. Meanwhile, Euromaidan Press’ investigation shows that Siemens was more than likely to know that its turbines will go to Crimea and, possibly, made the contract with the very intention.

Read more: How Siemens chose to ignore the obvious. An investigation into the Crimean sanctions break

It is to be assumed that the Technopromexport representative giving the comment is from OAO Technopromexport, the company with which Siemens concluded a secret deal to provide four gas turbines for a hypothetical station on the Taman peninsula. This is the first time that the company recognized that the turbines, which journalists spotted being transported to Crimea, are the very same turbines around which the scandal is unfolding; previously, Rostec assured that the turbines for Crimea were purchased on the secondary market.

The second revelation of the representative is much less likely to be true, as on 16 October 2015 OAO Technopromexport sold the turbines (again, secretly) to its clone OOO Technopromexport which had without any explanation taken over the task of constructing two power stations in Crimea (more about that in Euromaidan Press’ investigation). Therefore, it was not in legal possession of the turbines. Despite this, on 16 September 2016, OAO Technopromexport indeed announced an auction where it put up the four turbines for bids at a starting price twice higher than what it purchased them for from Siemens. The contest ended without a single bid, and its purpose was markedly unclear.

Therefore, the turbines were not sold to another customer after offering Siemens to buy them back – at the time of the auction, they had for 11 months already been in possession of another company.

Less than a month later, a conflict erupted between Siemens and OAO Technopromexport, during which, according to a source of Kommersant, Siemens was allowed to visit the “object” at Taman where the turbines allegedly were. The source of the newspaper noted then that Siemens was offered to take back the equipment and return the money, but the producer didn’t agree to this. Here, it is also unclear how OAO Technopromexport was able to offer Siemens to buy back the turbines.

OAO Technopromexport’s latest statement, therefore, may be seen as a desire to muddy the waters and shift the blame for the situation from themselves and Russia to Siemens, after on 27 July the EU gave an initial OK to blacklist more Russian nationals over the turbine imbroglio.

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  • Oknemfrod

    It’s not unusual to encounter people extremely smart in one respect and equally stupid in another. Siemens knows how to make high-tech turbines but isn’t astute enough to know that touching the Russians even with a ten-foot pole is no less dangerous than kissing a leper? If the foul smell of the Russian money messes up their minds so badly that they’re willing to turn the whole corporation into a leper colony, they shouldn’t be surprised if civilized people who know a thing or two about leprosy think long and hard before shaking their hands on any new contract and sign with their competitors instead.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      In my opinion the Siemens management arrogantly thought they could get away with the deal and possibly also believed the Crimean sanctions would be short-lived anyway. They may also have believed that Seehofer and Adolfina Merkel would protect the company if necessary.
      They were horribly wrong about the sanctions being short-lived and they may well be horribly wrong about the other two points as well.