Vestas to axe 590 workers after blade production scale-down

Blade for Vestas turbine. Author: Lars Plougmann. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

September 27 (Renewables Now) - Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) plans to scale down production of V136 blades in Europe, which would result in 590 job cuts in Germany and Denmark.

Vestas announced this change today, saying that it was prompted by the need to meet the manufacturing requirements of its changing product portfolio. From now on, the company will focus its investments on other blade types, such as V117 and V150, based on market demand, it said.

The decision will affect Vestas’ facilities in Lauchhammer, Germany, where roughly 500 employees will be laid off, and Lem, Denmark, where 90 workers will be axed.

In total, 170 third-party employees and 330 temporary workers in Lauchhammer will lose their jobs, which is equal to a 50% cut. This particular facility will continue to produce V117 blades, while keeping a limited production of V136 blades.

In Lem, Vestas will reduce its workforce by 12% but will continue to manufacture all blade prototypes and test blades for its entire product portfolio.

“Today’s very competitive industry and the fast-moving energy transition means we must introduce new products and solutions where and when the market requires them. Our continued competitiveness in this environment means we must adjust our global manufacturing footprint to ensure we proactively manage our cost base and invest in new solutions to capture future growth,” explained Jean-Marc Lechene, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Vestas.

As of end-June, Vestas had more than 24,500 employees around the world.

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