Why Can’t Russia Produce Turbines For Crimea? – Part IV


Dear Readers:

As you recall, we were slowly and calmly working our way through this piece from VZGLIAD.  Where we left off in our story, intrepid reporter Olga Samofalova was interviewing Maxim Muratshin, a Senior Managing Engineer at a Russian power company called Powerz.  Max was complaining how the Russian heavy-machinery industry went into such decline, in recent decades, that they can’t produce powerful gas turbines any more — only smaller, punier ones like the ГТЭ-25П.  In fact, according to Max, the Russian heavy-machinery industry is so terribly lame, that it can barely produce a couple of big red boilers every year.  And no nation can survive without big red boilers.  Oh, and by the way, the word I was searching for yesterday, and was on the tip of my tongue, is “cauldron“.  A pot = a kettle = a cauldron.  And what happened to the Ukrainian army at Ilovaisk is sometimes referred to as a “kettle”, and sometimes as a “cauldron”.  Either way, it is not anything that you would want to happen to your own army.  A pot also, by the way, is something that you can wear on your head as armor during street riots, in which case it is generally referred to as a “casserole”.

Big Red Boiler

Anyhow, when it came to pass that a desperate Crimea, blockaded and embargoed by the Ukraine, needed heavy-duty gas turbines, the Russian government was forced to buy them from Germany.  From the Siemens AG Company, to be precise.  Russia ended up buying four very shiny turbines of the SGT5-2000E  model, of which either two or all four, depending on which story one reads, were put in big boxes and shipped to the Crimean peninsula.

Meanwhile, the Russians and their German “partners” had to do this in a somewhat crafty manner, since Crimea is under embargo of everything that is needed for modern life.  Because the United States, like some Biblical tyrant, has decreed that the people of Crimea must starve and shiver to death, until they cave in and go down on their knees to their Banderite overlords.  Begging piteously:  “Take us back, O Banderite Overlords!” while kissing the shiny metal asses of their Casserole-Headed rightful rulers.

(Which, by the way, wouldn’t even do them any good, since the Ukrainians can’t produce enough gas/electricity any more anyhow, but nonetheless they demand the ritual obeisance….)

Anyhow, the story all made sense so far, if one was willing to accept the thesis that the German government and Siemens company were brave enough to buck the trend and, in an un-vassal like manner, sneakily sell the turbines to Russia, fully well knowing that these puppies were destined for Crimea.

So far so good.  But then Professor Paul threw a wrench into my tidy story when he posted this link on my comment section yesterday.  The headline reads:  “Peskov has disclosed the origins of the Gas Turbines destined for Crimea”.  In short, Dmitry Peskov denies that Russia bought these turbines from Germany.  Nope, he says, we made ’em ourselves!  Right here in good ole Russia!

How Many Watts Can A Megawatt – WHAT?

The Lenta piece, by the way, partially clears up my earlier confusion about Megawattage.  The final paragraph reads as follows:

The construction of two thermal electrostations, of capacity of 470 Megawatts apiece, one for Simferopol, and one for Sebastopol, was planned by the Federal Planning Program called the “Social-Economic Development Plan for the Republic of Crimea and the (free) City of Sebastopol Up to the Year 2020”.  This development plan foresees investment into Crimean energy infrastructure in the amount of 49 billion rubles.  The thermal stations are being built by the company Techno-Prom-Export.

Peskov: A desperate man with nothing to lose…

Recall Muratshin’s statement that the best a domestic Russian turbine can produce is a paltry 25 Megawatts.  To achieve 470 Megawatts, you would have to string together [doing the math … clickety-click …]  around 19 of those things in series!  Whereas each Siemens turbine can produce around 168 MW.  Actually, the math still doesn’t add up, because two of those German things strung together is still only 336 MW, and the original article said they needed 470 MW apiece (for each power station).  Now I’m really confused…

Dmitry Peskov, in case anybody doesn’t know, is Press Secretary to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Peskov, which is Russian for “Sandy”, is also the husband of Olympic ice dancer Tatiana Navka – you know how it goes, the powerful men bag the gorgeous babes.  The happy couple have a little daughter together, and she’s adorable too.  Peskov is a powerful, a rich, and a happy man.  He would never tell a porkie.  Or would he?  Because one of those two men is lying, it’s either Peskov or Muratshin.  Here is the chronology:

  • On 6 July (last Thursday) Siemens announced that it was to deliver turbines to Crimea as components of a new electrostation in Sebastopol.  Simultaneously a Russian import-export company called Tekhno-Prom-Export, which is the engineering filial of the Russian state-owned company Rostech, announced that it had purchased 4  gas turbines (from an unnamed country and company) on the secondary market and brought these babies into a Russian factory to be “modernized”.
  • Then yesterday, July 10, Peskov informed the world (in response to a question at a press conference) that the gas turbines destined from Crimea, are of domestic, Russian manufacture, and were assembled in a Russian factory.

Siemens spokesperson

Meanwhile Siemens is doing the backstroke in a bowl of soup, protesting that it will move heaven and earth to prevent its product from ever being used in any illegal endeavours.  Such as providing the Crimean people with much-needed electrons.  God forbid they should turn on their toaster ovens.  A Siemens spokesperson is quoted as emitting the following utterances:  “We have no proof that such a sale did actually take place….  However, we relate with the utmost seriousness to any such rumors….  And we have issued orders to investigate this incident and study all the facts…”

In short:  “WE KNOW NOTHING!”

In conclusion:  Is there a way to square this circle?  Can both Muratshin and Peskov be telling the truth?  Well, according to one theory, the state-owned Russian company purchased the Siemens turbines, brought them into a Russian warehouse, slapped new labels on them, and now – voilà– they’re Russian turbines!

[to be continued — maybe (?)]

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5 Responses to Why Can’t Russia Produce Turbines For Crimea? – Part IV

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    “to be continued — maybe (?)]”

    Definitely “yes!”, because Siemens decided to go to the court over the issue. As they say in Odessa, the tzimmes of the issue lies in the fact, that it is Russian court where they will be duking out the quarrel with TechoPromExport (RosTech’s “daughter” company). The crux of the issue – Reuters claim, that RPE did sign a paper that they won’t transport sold turbines to the peninsula. Russia line is that, tehcnically speaking, they were not sold “turbines” per se – they were sold components, which were assembeld/remade in Russia, and that Russia can do pretty much anything it wants with them.


  2. Lyttenburgh says:

    Let’s take a minute to recall, how Siemens became a successful start-up, and what it used for its early kick-starter initiative:


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for the reminder, Lyt!
      Yes, and if I were a clever lawyer for the Russian team, I would definitely bring this history up in court and shame this company with its past crimes.
      Something along the lines of:

      “And YOU, sir, in the past employed slave labor and attempted to starve the people of Sebastopol, and now you’re back at your old tricks, you Nazi basterds!”


      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – I read somewhere that the slave labor would sneakily try to sabotage the very product they were building. Just in little ways, that was all they were able to.
        But I would still be suspicious of using any of those turbines!


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