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United States

Katana Summit adds to US tower woe

UNITED STATES: Katana Summit has become the latest US tower manufacturer has put itself up for sale with the warning it will close if it cannot find a buyer.

The company, which has plants in Nebraska and Washington, blamed the upcoming expiry of the production tax credit (PTC) for the decision. It employs 293 people.

Katana CEO Kevin Strudthoff said "It’s unfortunate that the gridlock in Washington D.C. has prevented the extension of the Production Tax Credit. Despite support from both parties, it seems that the PTC extension has become a political football in an election year and jobs are being lost because of it.

"I hope we can find a buyer to keep these plants operating but unless government policy for renewable energy becomes more stable I’m afraid we’ll see more closures and job losses in the industry into 2013."

So far the tower sector has borne the brunt of job losses to come from the end of the PTC in 2013. Earlier this year, Vestas announced the loss of roughly 90 jobs at its Colorado tower plant.

Additionally, DMI is shedding 167 Oklahoma workers, with another 216 jobs at risk at its North Dakota facility.

DMI Industries is exiting the wind business and has sold its two plants to Texas-based tower manufacturer Trinity Structural Towers. However, Trinity is to move some of its production away from wind and into the manufacturing of railcars.

Katana was also a member of the US-based Wind Tower Trade Coalition, whose members also include DMI Industries, Trinity and Broadwind Energy. The group has been pressing the US government to take action against cheap tower imports from the Far East.

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