Nordex adjusts structures to local U.S. wind energy market

The Germany-based wind turbine developer will concentrate all production at its plant in Rostock, Germany, to maximize capacity utilization and achieve sustainably higher profitability.

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On June 28, wind turbine developer and manufacturer Nordex SE (Hamburg, Germany) announced that it will cease wind turbine nacelle production at its U.S.-based facility in Jonesboro, Ark., after it completes the orders in its current pipeline. The decision, says Nordex, was driven by the wind industry’s global overcapacity and what the company termed "the continued uncertainty and instability of the U.S. market." The decision is not expected to impact the current year’s business performance, because exceptional expenses were already accounted for in 2012 as previously reported.

Dr. Jürgen Zeschky, CEO of Nordex SE, explains, “This was an extremely difficult decision for Nordex. We are reacting to the weakened demand from the U.S. market, brought on by the unpredictable extensions of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), and the resulting low utilization rate of our U.S. assembly plant." However, he emphasized that Nordex still sees great potential in the U.S. and Latin American markets and is committed to serving those markets and increasing the company's installed base. "With this decision, we also increase our flexibility to react to U.S. demand for our turbines out of one single plant in Rostock, Germany," he says, but adds, "We will be maintaining the extensive expertise in sales, engineering, service, project management, training and support that we have built at our Chicago and Jonesboro locations to continue the growth we have achieved through these challenging times.”

Ralf Sigrist, president and CEO of Chicago-based Nordex USA Inc. comments, “This is a sad day for all of us at Nordex USA. We will lose valued colleagues, who have done their very best for us, but the decision was inevitable considering the underutilization of our plant.”

In the future, nacelles for the North and Latin American markets will be supplied from Nordex’ factory in Rostock, Germany, using the global supply chain and logistics support based there. Service activities for all existing U.S. wind farms reportedly will be unaffected by the closure of U.S. production. The training academy, the central parts storage and the repair facility in Jonesboro also will remain in operation to support service and operations in the Americas. Around 40 production employees will be affected with layoffs beginning in October 2013.

The restructuring of the company in the U.S. is in line with Nordex’ strategy to position its operations to maximize capacity utilization.

As one of the technological leaders in multi-megawatt wind power systems, Nordex is benefiting from the trend in favor of large-scale turbines. The product range of the compnay's Generation Gamma turbines comprises the N90/2500, N100/2500, and N117/2400, which is, Nordex claims, one of the most efficient wind turbines for onshore applications. To date, more than 2,100 turbines of this type have been produced and installed. Nordex has installed a total of around 5,100 turbines with an aggregate capacity of more than 8,100 MW. With exports accounting for more than 85 percent of its business, Nordex SE plays a key role in international high-growth regions. The company has offices and subsidiaries in 22 countries, and has 2,500 employees.

For more information, contact Nordex SE's Felix Losada, Tel.: +49 (40) 30030 1000.