Nordex closes plant in Jonesboro

Nordex is going to phase out the production of engine houses in Jonesboro. (Photo: Energy.gov)
Nordex is going to phase out the production of engine houses in Jonesboro. (Photo: Energy.gov)

Nordex SE is going to gradually phase out U.S. production of its engine houses in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after completion of current orders in the coming months, and will manufacture their wind turbines for North and South America in Rostock in the future. The company cites the global overcapacity in the wind industry and the continuing uncertainty and instability of the U.S. market as reasons for its decision. The decision will not influence the business result in the current year, as the related extra expenses were already taken into account in 2012, the company says.

Nordex CEO Jürgen Zeschky comments: "This was an extremely difficult decision for Nordex. With this step, Nordex is responding to the continued weak demand in the U.S. and the low capacity utilisation of our own production facility, which is partially caused by the unpredictable situation concerning the extension of the production tax credit (PTC)." However, he has not written off the markets overseas: "We see great potential in the U.S. and Latin American markets, and will continue to work in these regions with high priority. This decision gives us greater flexibility to respond to U.S. demand for our turbines from a central production facility in Rostock. We will preserve our local expertise in sales, engineering, service, project management and training at our locations in Chicago and Jonesboro, in order to continue the growth we have achieved in these markets in difficult times."

Ralf Sigrist, President and CEO of Nordex USA Inc., says: "This is a sad day for all of us at Nordex USA. We will lose valued colleagues who have done their best for us. Unfortunately, this decision was inevitable due to the under-utilisation of our U.S. production facilities."

In the future, Nordex will supply the turbines for the North American and Latin American markets from the German Nordex production site in Rostock. Purchasing, warehousing and logistics are also centred here. The service activities for existing wind farms in the U.S. are not affected by the plant closure. The training academy, the central spare parts and component warehouses and the repair facility in Jonesboro will be retained to support services and projects in America. About 40 employees will be affected by the staff reduction in the fall of 2013.

Katharina Garus

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