Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Nasdaq Copenhagen: VWS), a global partner of the energy industry on sustainable solutions, is continuously changing its product portfolio to meet the evolving customer demand and to reduce the cost of renewable energy, thus, driving the energy transition forward and supporting sustainable development. In September 2019, the company announced that it is scaling down the production of V136 blades in Europe to meet the manufacturing requirements of its evolving product portfolio, and instead, invest in other blade types such as V117 and V150, as well as other capabilities. The changes in Vestas’ product portfolio, including the introduction of EnVentus platform and 4 MW platform variants, demand this scale-down.
The global renewable energy market is being supported by the rising global investment in renewable energy projects and their increased installations. In 2019, nearly 2455 gigawatts of renewable energy was installed globally. The installations are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.43% over the forecast period of 2020-2025 to reach 3184 gigawatts by 2025. The global investments made in renewable resources were around USD 280 billion in 2017. Vestas is trying to make positive changes to its portfolio at a historically high pace, thus, meeting the current demand for renewable energy and such projects.
The scale down in the V136 blade production in Europe is particularly aimed at helping Vestas to reduce its workforce at two of its facilities, located in Lauchhammer, Germany, and in Lem, Denmark. The company intends to cut-down the workforce by a total of approximately 590 hourly-paid employees. Keeping in mind the strategy to develop the current and future EnVentus blade variants, the company is currently manufacturing blades for its 2 MW and 4 MW platforms in Europe. With this adjustment, the company ensures to provide the right products at the right time and appropriate cost to its global customer base.
Vestas’ Lauchhammer facility in Germany will continue to manufacture V117 blades with a limited production of V136 blades. Further, the company, in order to ensure the continued production of V117 blades, will upgrade its moulds. The intended workforce reductions at this particular site include approximately 500 hourly-paid employees, specifically 170 third-party employees and 330 temporary workers, representing around a 50% reduction in the number of employees at the factory. Even after this workforce reduction, Germany will remain a pivotal market to Vestas, having over 14 GW of installed turbines, 11 GW under service, and having over 2,300 employees.
Vestas’ blade facilities in Lem, with its proximity to Vestas’ R&D Centre in Aarhus and several test sites in Denmark, serves as the hub of Vestas’ blade innovation. The facility produces all blade prototypes and test blades, blade moulds, and allows for the introduction of new blade variants, such as EnVentus blades, to the market. In Denmark, the production of the V136 blade variant will discontinue as a result of this scale-down. The intended workforce reduction at Lem’s blade facilities totals around 90 hourly paid employees, representing approximately 12% of the facility’s employees. The company is determined to power a bright future by bringing the world sustainable energy solutions, and further expand its business.
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