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Spain

Gamesa continues Spanish cuts with factory closure

SPAIN: The Spanish wind market slowdown has forced the biggest domestic turbine manufacturer Gamesa to close nacelle production at its Medina del Campo factory, one of three nacelle facilities it operates in the country.

The Medina factory produced nacelles for Gamesa's 2MW turbine (shown)
The Medina factory produced nacelles for Gamesa's 2MW turbine (shown)
The decision follows Gamesa's first quarter 2012 €21 million net loss, spurring a tightening of existing global rationalistation measures. The Medina closure "serves as an example" of the way forward, Gamesa told Windpower Monthly.

In 2010, the company closed its Alsasua blade factory, dedicated to a discontinued 45-metre model. But Medina was producing Gamesa's best selling 2MW machine. Half of Medina's 74 dismissed workers will be relocated, mainly to Gamesa's Ágreda nacelle facility in Soria.

The news clouds Gamesa's recent revelation that, despite an 800MW reduction in production capacity in Spain since 2010 (when it stood at 2GW), it has globally increased staff during that period.

Threat

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Gamesa chief executive Jorge Calvet is fulfilling his February 2011 threat to halve the company's Spanish turbine production capacity by 2013. Calvet wants the government to renew the wind power support model, which expires in December.

So far, the Spanish manufacturer has reduced capacity by 800MW. This represents a 40% cut on Gamesa's 2GW national capacity at the start of 2010, Calvet's reference year when he made the threat.

Spain's wind sector claims to have lost over 10,000 jobs since 2009 due to the lack of regulatory certainty beyond 2012. In January this year, the governemnt turned the hiatus into an official and indefinite moratorium on renewables.

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