United States

United States

Broadwind sells South Dakota factory

UNITED STATES: Tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy has sold finally one of its three tower manufacturing plants for $11.7 million after putting it up for sale in 2011.

The Brandon plant, which Broadwind said was idle, is located in South Dakota. The company said it was using $3.5 million to repay a mortgage balance.

It was originally put up for sale in Q3 2011 as part of a plan to reduce production capacity by 600,000 sq ft. The Brandon sale means it has 200,000 sq ft left to go.

Speaking about the deal, Broadwind Energy President and CEO Peter Duprey said: "This sale was an important part of our strategy to reduce our production footprint in line with longer term expected wind tower demand and our strategy to diversify our industry concentration. This will reduce our fixed overhead and further strengthen our balance sheet.

"We believe our remaining two plants will be sufficient to support production of towers to meet customer demand for the next several years."

Broadwind has won two major deals this year. In March and February, it won a $35 million and $27 million orders respectively. Both were from manufacturer(s) that remained unnamed.

Over the last year, a number of US tower manufacturers have closed plants, including Trinity Industries and Katana Summit, while others have shut down altogether.

In January, the US government imposed sanctions of up to 73% on imports from the Far East leading to concerns the US could be facing a supply bottleneck this year, following the renewal of the PTC.

"There is the distinct possibility of a strong rush to secure wind towers," said analyst Dan Shreve, Make Consulting's US-based partner.

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