Cutbacks come in Vestas' global operations
By Erik Siemers
Vestas announced two major cutbacks in its global operations.
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems on Monday said it will close a factory in China and cut between 300 and 350 jobs thanks to dwindling demand for low-kilowatt turbines.
Reuters reports that Vestas — which keeps its North American sales and service headquarters in Portland — will save $12.5 million by closing production at the Hothot factory this summer.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Vestas is scrapping plans for a new manufacturing plant on the United Kingdom's Isle of Sheppey that once promised to create 2,000 jobs. The company says it didn't land enough orders to move ahead on the project.
The move was a blow to Great Britain, which is actively looking to boost its clean energy sector.
Reuters reports that Britain's Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the decision was "disappointing" and would hit the local economy particularly hard. Britain is already anxious about the fallout from any escalation of the debt crisis in Europe, its biggest trading partner.
It isn't clear how the global cuts will affect Vestas' Portland office, which recently moved into a gleaming new headquarters building in the Pearl District. Martha Wyrsch, president of Vestas Americas, said last month that the industry is a notoriously cyclical one, but that the company remains committed to its U.S. business.
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