SGRE temporarily cuts jobs at Spanish plant

Project delays have prompted Siemens Gamesa to temporarily lay off up to 200 workers from a nacelle factory in northern Spain

While Spain's wind power sector has remained active during the coronavirus pandemic, new build has nonetheless slowed markedly

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) will lay off up to 200 workers at its strategic nacelle facility in Soria, north-central Spain.

The workforce restructuring plan at its nacelle factory in Ágreda, Soria is “purely temporary, arising from certain project delays”, a company spokesperson told Windpower Monthly. 

SGRE offered no specific details, though union representatives at the factory say 100-140 permanent workers and around 60 temporary and subcontracted employees will be laid off for a minimum of six months. 

The restructuring in Spain follows the manufacturer closing its blade factory in Aoiz, Spain, and laying off 130 workers at its blade factory in Iowa, US, earlier this weel.

SGRE added that the restructuring plan in Spain “is not directly linked to Covid-19”.

While the sector has remained active, new build has nonetheless slowed markedly throughout the pandemic.

Just 730MW of new capacity was connected in Spain in January-September, according to national wind association AEE. That compares with a 2.3GW build out in the whole of 2019. 

However, “currently delayed projects will be reactivated in the months ahead,” said SGRE, whose H1 2020 results stated a €28.6bn global order backlog, 21% up on the first half of 2019.