Alstom Wind cuts 35% of jobs in Spain

SPAIN: Alstom Wind announced yesterday it plans to close two wind turbine component factories in the country, axing 373 jobs in the process, as a result of what it calls "the deep crisis" in Spain's wind market.

Alstom's ECO100 platform is one of those affected by the cuts
Alstom's ECO100 platform is one of those affected by the cuts

The draft version of Alstom Wind's restructuring plan, presented to the European Works Forum, affects just over 35% of its Spanish workforce, currently at 1,018 people.

The Somozas facility in the Galicia region, where the company produces electrical equipment for nacelles, will close. Its Altamira tower production factory in Zamora province in the Castile and León region will also close.

Somozas' production will now be shifted to Alstom's 1500MW Buñuel complex in Navarra, where the company produces the nacelles for its ECO80 and ECO100 turbine platforms, rated at 1.67MW and 3MW, respectively.

Since 2009, Spain's wind sector estimates tha more than 15,000 sector jobs have been lost as a result of a central government freeze on permits for new wind projects planned for after end-2012.

Alstom Wind's turbine production in Spain will now be dedicated almost entirely to exports, especially to Latin America, but also Europe, North America and the Middle East.

A company spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly that "global turbine overcapacity", combined with "national obligations for local production", restricted export growth from Spain.

Nevertheless, the Alstom group, which acquired Spanish turbine manufacturer Ecotècnia in 2006, plans to reinforce Alstom Wind's global R&D and administrative headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

The group said it aims for its other divisions, in transport and energy, to absorb the wind division layoffs.

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