Vestas axes 600 jobs in bleak week for European wind jobs

Vestas announced almost 600 job losses at its plants in Germany and Denmark after a bleak week for workers in the European wind industry.

The Danish turbine OEM said 500 jobs will go in Lauchhammer, Germany, and another 90 in Lem, Denmark, as it scales back V136 blade production.

The news from Vestas comes a day after rival Siemens Gamesa announced 600 job cuts of its own, and a month after Vestas unveiled an earlier round of layoffs in Denmark.

Vestas said the latest cuts are “to meet the manufacturing requirements of our changing product portfolio – including the introduction of our EnVentus platform and 4MW platform variants”.

Lauchhammer, where the bulk of the cuts will fall, loses about half of its workforce. The plant will continue to produce V117 blades and “limited” V136 production.

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Vestas chief operating officer Jean-Marc Lechêne said: “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.

“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.”

Vestas said last year that job cuts were on the cards amid “a shift in growth from more traditional wind markets to high-growth markets primarily outside of Europe”.

The German market, where onshore wind installation levels have collapsed amid a negative policy environment, has been particularly hard hit.

The German wind industry has repeatedly warned that the country’s wind power industrial base faces disaster unless actions is taken to restart growth.

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