United States

United States

Low demand forces closure of LM blade site in US

LM Wind Power’s blade plant in Arkansas, US, will close by the end of the year as the need for smaller blades shrinks.

GE Renewable Energy turbines in Minnesota, United States
GE Renewable Energy turbines in Minnesota, United States

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Manufacturing at the plant in Little Rock, Arkansas will stop by the end of April 2020 ahead of the plant being completely shut down by December 2020.

LM Wind Power, acquired by GE Renewable Energy in 2016, made 44.1- and 62.2-metre blades at the plant. It will now fulfil orders for the 62.2-metre blades at its facilitiy in Grand Forks, North Dakota, an LM spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.

A GE spokesman added that the decision to close the factory had nothing to do with the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“This decision is driven by the decline in demand for the blade," the spokesman said. 

LM added that order volumes for these blades was "commercially confidential".

The decision to close the Little Rock plant will affect about 470 employees.

GE said it would continue paying workers for at least four months and will pay health insurance for an additional six months, so they are covered until the end of the year.

The Little Rock factory had been expanded as recently as December 2017, when a post-molding building was completed.

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