Tuesday August 14, 2012 0 comments
PUEBLO - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems is reducing its North American manufacturing workforce by three percent through layoffs at its Pueblo tower factory, the company announced.
Vestas said the action was taken because of a slowdown in U.S. demand for turbines because of a potential loss of tax credits for their purchase.
"Uncertainty over whether Congress will extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is leading to a general market slowdown for wind power manufacturers and developers throughout the U.S.," the company said in a statement.
"Vestas has noted that many wind power jobs are at risk if Congress does not extend the PTC - not only at Vestas but also within the hundreds of domestic supply chain manufacturers that serve the wind industry in North America."
Vestas said it is focusing its workforce reduction at the Pueblo manufacturing facility. While the company would not release figures on how many jobs that would be, Vestas said it amounted to approximately three percent of its total North American workforce.
One estimate placed that figure at about 90 jobs.
But the cutback in workers would not affect Vestas' ability to keep up with its orders, the company said.
"Vestas remains committed to manufacturing wind turbine components in its Colorado factories to meet the needs of its U.S. customers, and Vestas will continue to export turbine components from its U.S. factories to its customers in Canada, Mexico and Central and South America."
In addition to Pueblo, Vestas (OMX: VWS) also has manufacturing facilities in Windsor and Brighton. Company spokesman Andrew Longeteig said Vestas would not comment on other possible layoffs if the PTC isn't renewed by the end of 2012.
"We can't speculate on this, especially as a publicly traded company," he said. Longeteig noted that the company will be announcing its Q2 2012 financial results next week.
Vestas employs an estimated 2,500 in its four Colorado manufacturing facilities and more than 3,000 throughout North America.