TORONTO (AP) — German leader Olaf Scholz said Monday he was working as quickly as possible to reduce Germany’s energy dependence on Russia, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a business case would be needed to send gas from Canada to Europe.
Scholz, who took over from Angela Merkel late last year, is in Canada this week and will sign a deal with Trudeau to supply clean hydrogen to Germany.
“Canada is playing a really, really central role in the development of green hydrogen,” Scholz said. “That is why we are very happy to be able to extend our cooperation in this area on this occasion as well.”
He said Germany would like to be a partner with Canada in the future export of green hydrogen, but in the meantime natural gas will be needed. Trudeau, however, played down the likelihood of direct gas exports to Germany due to logistical and cost constraints. Trudeau said it should make business sense.
“There are a number of potential projects that are on the books for which there has never been a solid business case,” Trudeau said. “It must make sense for Germany to import LNG from the east coast.”
Scholz thanked Canada for allowing the export, despite sanctions against Moscow, of a refurbished turbine that Russia says it needs to continue supplying natural gas to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline The fact that Russia has not yet requested the necessary turbine, which is currently in Germany, showed that Russian claims of technical problems hampering gas supplies to Russia were a ruse, he said. he declares.
“Russia is no longer a reliable trading partner,” Scholz said. “He reduced gas deliveries all over Europe, always referring to technical reasons that never existed. And that is why it is important not to fall into the trap of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.
Russia’s Gazprom cut gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 60% in June. The state-owned gas company cited alleged technical problems with the turbine its partner Siemens Energy sent to Canada for overhaul and which could not be returned due to sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .
The pipeline will also be closed for three days of maintenance at the end of this month, Gazprom announced last week, increasing economic pressure on Germany and other European countries that depend on the fuel industry to supply, produce electricity and heat homes.
Scholz said Russia was trying to divide allies who support Ukraine and that should never succeed.
Natural gas prices jumped as Russia cut or halted natural gas flows to a dozen European Union countries, fueling inflation and increasing the risk that Europe would plunge into recession. Germans have been told to reduce their gas consumption now so that the country will have enough for the coming winter.
Scholz said Germany is building many ports and pipelines on Germany’s northern coast and many other places to allow LNG imports.
“We are working hard to become independent of this gas supply and we are making a lot of investments to get there and we are doing it as fast as possible. Never has such an infrastructure been built in Germany in such a short time,” said Scholz.
Associated Press writer Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.
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