LM Glasfiber, headquartered in Denmark, says the planned changes are the result of increasing competition in the wind energy industry and a shift in demand to markets outside Europe.
"We need to increase capacity where there is a high demand and high potential, and scale down where demand has dropped due to the global crisis, which is sadly the case in Europe,” says Iain Gow, Chief Operating Officer, LM Glasfiber.
“Unfortunately, this means announcing plans to phase out large scale manufacturing at two factories in Denmark and one in Spain," he continues. "Making the proposal to cease production in the factories in Denmark has been especially difficult as it will entail letting close to 700 of our skilled employees go. However, it is a necessary step to allow us to remain the preferred partner for wind turbine manufacturers in the global marketplace."
This news follows several announcements regarding expansion in growing markets, including further investments in capacity in China (see: LM Glasfiber announces capacity expansion in China).
LM Glasfiber says it will maintain production of the world's longest commercially available blade in Denmark, its 61.5 m blade primarily used for the offshore market. Together with its new Technology Center, the company will continue to employ more than 500 people in Denmark.
"Denmark is the place to be when it comes to know-how and expertise in wind energy and this is why we intend to strengthen our global knowledge base there and to integrate a number of the skilled manufacturing workers and existing facilities into a new global Technology Center,” says Gow. “This center will include more than 200 engineers, technicians and operators once fully operational and will be a key initiative to reinforce our market leadership in the development of blades that are more energy efficient, reliable and competitive."