Gazprom stated that the Austrian compressors were shut off remotely and they still do not work. The company plans to purchase Russian-made compressors to replace foreign ones.
Gazprom was faced with the forced shutdown of Austrian LMF compressors, said N335 department head Pavel Krylov, Interfax reports.
According to him, they were turned off "remotely", and now these compressors "stand dead weight, do not work until now." “It’s disconnected remotely via satellite, it’s just turned into scrap metal,” Krylov said.
Instead of foreign ones, it is planned to purchase Russian-made mobile modular compressor stations, the proposal has already been submitted by Kazan enterprise NPP Kompressor.
Vitaly Markelov, Gazprom’s deputy chairman of the board, noted that the economic performance of Kazan plant equipment, judging by the information provided, is higher than that of foreign ones. He added that the Russian model could be adopted to replace the LMF installation.
In Gazprom, RBC reported that two mobile compressor stations manufactured by LMF were disconnected in 2012 during the pilot tests “at the subsidiary's site”. “During the test, the equipment was remotely disconnected by the manufacturer, a potential Russian supplier returned it to himself,” the company said. They added that, on the initiative of Gazprom, the development of similar domestic equipment began.
A source at Gazprom explained to RBC that there are not very many LMF compressors in Gazprom, they are used on mobile portable compressor units for repairing gas pipelines. “Such compressors are needed to bleed gas while reducing the pressure in the pipe, preventing its emissions into the atmosphere and damage to nature. Their failure can make it difficult to quickly repair gas pipelines in case of accidents or scheduled repairs: equipment needs to be replaced, ”he said.
According to another RBC interlocutor close to Gazprom, a compressor and its similar equipment can be switched off remotely by its manufacturer. “Usually, when concluding a service contract for servicing compressors, it is possible to remotely correct an error in its operation; shutdown is also possible. It is possible that the equipment was turned off after the expiration of the terms of the service contract or warranty periods. And if it fell under sanctions, then the manufacturer could not continue its maintenance, ”the source said. According to him, Gazprom has old compressors of American and Swiss manufacture, and the risk of shutting them down is also not excluded.
“Without compressors, the pressure in the gas transmission network decreases, throughput also drops,” said another RBC interlocutor close to Gazprom. At compressor stations there are stationary compressors, their shutdown would be critical for gas pipelines, but mobile ones would not, he added.
RBC sought comment from the Austrian company LMF.
Mobile compressor stations have been used in subsidiaries of OAO Gazprom since 2010, a Gazprom statement said.