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LM Glasfiber sheds 900 employees in Europe

By Charlotte Eyre
Posted 1 December 2009
Denmark’s wind turbine blade maker LM Glasfiber says it will shed about 900 employees in Europe as part of plans to shift manufacturing to China.

“We need to increase capacity where there is high demand and high potential, and scale down where demand has dropped due to the global crisis, which is sadly the case in Europe,” says COO Iain Gow. “Unfortunately, this means announcing plans to phase out large scale manufacturing at two factories in Denmark and one in Spain.”

The majority of the job cuts – about 700 – will be made in Denmark.

LM Glasfiber is the world’s largest maker of wind turbine blades and over the course of 2009 it has gradually reduced operations in Europe and the US and moved to China.

The company laid off 600 workers at factories in Europe and the US in early 2009 the announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in China – its third – earlier this month.

A company spokeswoman declined to reveal details of the new factory’s production capacity, but said it has agreements to supply blades totaling 1,100 megawatts of power to Chinese wind turbine maker Goldwind.

LM has not seen any dips in the Chinese wind market, in contrast with Europe, the US and India, where the firm has seen markets suffer as the problems with the economy have delayed wind power projects.

LM has 7,000 employees and 14 factories around the world and claims to make 25% of the world’s wind turbine blades.

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