Senvion announces job cuts to secure 'competitiveness'

GERMANY: Following recent rumours of a restructure, Senvion has announced it intends to cut 780 jobs worldwide in a bid to increase competitiveness following its initial public offering (IPO) last year.

Senvion plans to cut 780 jobs worldwide, but mostly in its home market of Germany
Senvion plans to cut 780 jobs worldwide, but mostly in its home market of Germany

The firm said the jobs would be mostly lost at its sites in Husum, Trampe and Bremerhaven in Germany.

The announcement followed rumours that surfaced last week of a shift in the manufacturer's operations.

Senvion's workforce in Trampe noted that key workers were leaving and materials destined for the works there had been redirected elsewhere.

This could lead to work drying up at Trampe with the site closing as early as mid- to end of May 2017, Peter Ernsdorf, trade union official for IG Metall Ostbrandenburg told Windpower Monthly.

The Trampe factory produces 3MW machines, while the Husum site makes 2MW turbines, which can also be produced at a Portugal facility.

"There is no alternative to decisive changes in order to secure the long term competitiveness of our company with 4,100 employees," said Senvion CEO Jürgen Geissinger.

Senvion lost considerable ground in its onshore home market last year. In 2016, it installed 106 turbines with 314MW accounting for 7.1% of the overall German onshore market of 4.4GW.

By comparison, in 2015 Senvion installed 244 turbines with a total 734MW, accounting for 19.5% of the overall onshore market of 3.75GW, according to onshore wind energy agency FA Wind.

"Senvion in recent years has developed new products, improved processes, and made the required investments. Now we have to follow through on our strategy and pave the ground for future global growth," Geissinger added.

The firm said OEMs have come under from strong pricing pressure and a "shift in demand from established markets to growth regions in South America and Asia".

In 2016, as part of its efforts to expand in to new markets, Senvion opened regional subsidiaries in Japan and India, and acquired the Indian factory and product portfolio of German firm Kenersys.

Further details of the growth strategy will be given when the company announces its 2016 financial results. The firm said it would look to boost operating profits following its IPO last year.

In March 2016, Senvion issued its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange days after initially postponing its plans because of "market volatility".

However, in August 2016, the board announced a share buy-back scheme to recuperate approximately 10% of the issued share capital after the share price had fallen roughly 30% since its launch.

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