October 19, 2018 / 4:39 PM / a year ago

Crimea power station in sanctions row suffers teething problem: Moscow

MOSCOW, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A power station in Crimea where Russia has installed two German-designed electricity turbines in contravention of sanctions was slightly damaged when a mishap occurred during testing, Russia’s energy ministry said on Friday.

German engineering firm Siemens says that Russia clandestinely delivered several of its turbines to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, despite European sanctions which ban the supply of energy technology to Crimea.

Siemens and its subsidiaries have said they will not play any role in installing the turbines, a complex task that, according to energy industry specialists, can easily go wrong without technology and know-how provided by the manufacturer.

The energy ministry said in a statement the roof of the power station building in Sevastopol was slightly damaged in the incident.

Power station staff were in August testing the station’s power-generating systems by forcing super-heated steam through them, which is discharged through exhaust pipes in the roof.

It said the high temperature of the steam, and the way the exhaust pipes were installed, had caused heat damage to the roof. It said though that the problem was fixed and there was no impact on the timetable for completing work on the power station.

The ministry provided to Reuters a satellite photo dated Aug. 26 which showed slight damage around vents on the power station roof.

The energy ministry said the Sevastopol station, and a second power station in Crimea where Siemens alleges another two of its turbines was installed without its knowledge, will be officially launched in November. Previous deadlines for the launch have been missed. (Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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