Russia ready to team up with Iran on gas turbines

Siemens Energy and other foreign companies are withdrawing from the Russian market due to sanctions

A gas power plant in Lingen, Germany. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says there is no technical reason for reduced Russian supply. AFP
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Russian companies are interested in co-operating with Iran on gas turbine technology and joint production, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said on Tuesday.

Russia has been trying to start producing its own gas turbines of medium or large capacity for years, but is yet to fine tune the process. The need to have its own production has become more acute since the start of what Moscow calls its special military operation in Ukraine in February.

Siemens Energy and some other foreign companies, whose turbines were used to build modern gas power plants in Russia, are withdrawing from the Russian market or have suspended operations, making it difficult for Moscow to service these plants.

“There is large potential for co-operation in this,” Mr Shulginov told a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Mehrabian.

Moscow has been pushing for closer ties with Tehran amid western sanctions and pressure over Russia's war in Ukraine. Iran wants deeper co-operation with Russia in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors. Both sides are co-operating closely in the military sphere, with Iran sending Russia drones and potentially missiles, while Russia is expected to step up arms deliveries to Iran.

In August, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia was ready to export gas to Europe during an inspection of the trans-Baltic Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Russian exporter Gazprom at the time said the hold-up for increasing its gas supply to Europe was due to technical issues.

Gazprom cut exports via Nord Stream to 20 per cent of its capacity, worsening Europe's energy crisis.

“I saw it with my own eyes: the serviced turbine is there and ready for operation at any time,” Mr Scholz said at the time. “It just has to be requested by Russia. There are no technical reasons for reducing gas supplies.”

Updated: December 21, 2022, 5:43 AM