Vestas to scale down capacity at blade facilities in Germany and Denmark

Source: press release, 27 September 2019

photo: Vestas
photo: Vestas

Vestas reports that to meet the manufacturing requirements of its changing product portfolio – including the introduction of our EnVentus platform and 4 MW platform variants – the company will scale down production of V136 blades and invest in other blade types and capabilities according to market demand.

The changes in Vestas’ product portfolio calls for a scale-down of V136 blade production in Europe while investing in other blade types such as V117 and V150. With the adjustment, Vestas seeks to ensure its ability to deliver the right products at the right time at the right cost to our global customer base.

Specifically, the scale-down of V136 blade production in Europe will impact its facilities in Lauchhammer, Germany and in Lem, Denmark, where the workforce will be reduced at the two sites by a total of approximately 590 hourly-paid employees. Vestas continues to produce blades for its 2 MW and 4 MW platforms in Europe, while preparing to develop the current and future EnVentus blade variants.

“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,” says Jean-Marc Lechêne, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Vestas.

“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,” Lechêne adds.

The Lauchhammer factory will continue to produce V117 blades and Vestas will upgrade the V117 blade moulds 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 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 its proximity to Vestas’ R&D Centre in Aarhus and several test sites in Denmark, Vestas’ blade facilities in Lem will remain the hub of Vestas’ blade innovation and will continue producing all blade prototypes and test blades for the entire Vestas product portfolio, production of blade moulds and introduction of new blade variants to the market (e.g. EnVentus blades). V136 blade production will cease in Denmark as part of the scale-down. The intended workforce reduction at the blade facilities in Lem totals approximately 90 hourly paid employees and corresponds to around 12% of the facility’s employees.

As of 30 June 2019, Vestas employed more than 24,500 people globally.