Wind turbine tower manufacturer CS Wind UK has announced to its staff at the factory in Machrihanish, Campbeltown, that it intends to let go of more than 50 workers due to challenging market conditions.
These are primarily driven by the current UK energy policy, according to the company, which said it wants to ensure competitiveness in both onshore and offshore wind markets.
A company spokesman said: “The current UK energy policy has resulted in a slow-down of development of onshore wind projects. It has also driven a reduction in prices resulting in increasing imports of wind towers from overseas.
“These factors have forced the company to consider every possible option to remain competitive to cope with market changes to ensure the long term future for the facility and the workforce.
“Therefore the business in the UK will take the difficult but inevitable decision to reshape and resize the facility by improving efficiencies to be in a strong position to compete with established competitors in the global marketplace.”
CS Wind UK plans to potentially reduce headcount from the current 154 to approximately 100 positions and started consultation with the Trade Union and elected representatives on 15 February.
The Machrihanish factory, former Wind Towers Scotland, was bought by South Korea’s CS Wind in April 2016, with the company aiming to set up the first factory in the UK to commercially produce offshore wind towers, located adjacent to CS Wind’s current onshore facilities.
In December 2016, DONG Energy announced it was making a a multi-million pound investment in CS Wind’s new offshore tower manufacturing facility, which will give the offshore wind developer preferred access rights to towers for its offshore wind farms.
CS Wind UK started working on its Machrihanish wind turbine tower factory in July 2016, when it also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens to produce up to 200 towers for the company’s offshore wind turbines between 2017 and 2019.
The same month, the wind tower manufacturer signed an agreement with Vattenfall on the potential supply of components for Vattenfall’s onshore and offshore wind projects in the UK.