By Dan Alele
August 8 2016
Siemens is ready to build part of a power plant in Crimea, in spite of the European and international embargo.
According to an investigation by Reuters, the builders of two power plants in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory Crimea have finalised plans to install turbines made by a joint venture of Siemens.
Siemens says its joint venture is only for making turbines for a separate plant on Russia’s Taman peninsula, which is separated from Crimea by a strait, but not for plants inside in Crimea itself.
However, three separate sources told Reuters that two power plants in Crimea are being built to house Siemens turbines. The sources, who are all familiar with the technical details of the plants, said they are compatible only with Siemens turbines.
The sources include one person involved in the plant project itself, one employee of a company working alongside state builder Technopromexport on the project, and one person from a company that bid on the construction tender. All three spoke on condition of anonymity.
EU sanctions bar European individuals and companies from providing energy technology to Crimea, and from taking any actions designed to circumvent those rules.
If the turbines end up in Crimea – which one of the sources said could happen as soon as within the next two months – it could test the limits of what is allowable under sanctions imposed by the European Union after Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. Legal experts say there are no court precedents to say whether Siemens could be held responsible if a third party brought the turbines to Crimea.
The European Commission in Brussels had no specific comment about the Siemens turbines and said it was up to EU member countries to enforce sanctions rules on their companies: “The restrictive measures adopted by the EU are clear. Their implementation is in the hands of the member states,” a spokeswoman said. (with Reuters)