File: Wind turbine blades wait to be shipped from MHI Vestas's wind turbine logistics facility. AFP/Glyn Kirk
COPENHAGEN - Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, said it was closing three factories in Denmark, Germany and Spain employing 650 people as it shifts focus to offshore wind farms.
The group said it would cease production at its factories in Lauchhammer, Germany, Viveiro, Spain and Esbjerg, Denmark.
The decision was the result of "today's fast-moving energy transition, rapid introduction of new products and recent integration of our onshore and offshore business," Vestas said in a statement.
The company recently announced it was changing its focus from onshore to offshore wind farms. As a result, in October 2020 it took full control over a joint venture it had with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MHI Vestas.
The Lauchhammer factory, already involved in a restructuring two years ago, employs 460 people and specialises in onshore wind operations, as does part of the Viveiro plant, which employs 115.
Those factories will be shut by the end of the year.
The Danish site, which employs 75 people, will close in the first half of 2022.
Vestas, whose main competitors include major corporations such as America's GE or Germany's Siemens, currently employs 29,000 people worldwide.
After the plant closures, it will have 12 factories in Europe.