As it scales down production of its V136 wind turbine blades, Vestas is laying off nearly 600 employees.
To meet the manufacturing requirements of its changing product portfolio – including the introduction of the EnVentus platform and 4 MW platform variants – Vestas intends to decrease production of V136 blades in Europe and invest in other blade types and capabilities, such as V117 and V150.
Specifically, the move will impact facilities in Lauchhammer, Germany, and Lem, Denmark, where Vestas intends to reduce its workforce at the two sites by a total of approximately 590 hourly paid employees.
“Today’s very competitive industry and the fast-moving energy transition means we must introduce new products and solutions where and when the market requires them,” comments Jean-Marc Lechêne, Vestas’ executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our continued competitiveness in this environment means we must adjust our global manufacturing footprint to ensure we proactively manage our cost base and invest in new solutions to capture future growth.
“We’re pleased that our new EnVentus and 4 MW platform solutions are very well-received by our customers all over the world, but the resulting manufacturing changes mean we must unfortunately let go of good, hardworking colleagues,” he continues.
The Lauchhammer factory will continue to produce V117 blades, and Vestas will upgrade the V117 blade molds to ensure continued production, while limited production of V136 blades also will continue. The intended workforce reductions include approximately 500 hourly-paid employees – specifically, 170 third-party employees and 330 temporary workers. This represents an approximately 50% reduction in the number of employees at the factory. Germany still remains a key market to Vestas, with more than 14 GW of installed turbines, 11 GW under service and more than 2,300 employees after the intended workforce reduction.
With their proximity to Vestas’ R&D center in Aarhus and several test sites in Denmark, Vestas’ blade facilities in Lem will remain the hub of the company’s blade production, but V136 blade production will cease in Denmark. The intended workforce reduction at the blade facilities in Lem totals approximately 90 hourly paid employees, corresponding to around 12%.
As of June 30, 2019, Vestas employed more than 24,500 globally.