LM Glasfiber to lay off 150 in US

Wind turbine blade maker LM Glasfiber announced 6 January 2009 it will lay off more than 150 and halt production at one of its two plants at Little Rock, Arkansas, although the company says it remains…

Wind turbine blade maker LM Glasfiber announced 6 January 2009 it will lay off more than 150 and halt production at one of its two plants at Little Rock, Arkansas, although the company says it remains optimistic about its long-term growth. Blade production will halt at LM Glasfiber“s plant in southwest Little Rock, but that work will continue at its factory at the Port of Little Rock. Sixty workers will move to the port facility, and Glasfiber says it will have a minimum of 350 employees in Little Rock after the layoffs, which will occur in two months. LM Glasfiber vice president general manager Randy Fox said in an interview on 6 January 2009 that the company“s North America headquarters will remain at the south-west Little Rock site, and warehousing and some sub-assembly work will continue there. “We“ve got a great team, and this is in no way a reflection on the workers or the Little Rock team in general,” Mr. Fox said. “This is an economic crisis, not a problem with the Little Rock plant.” When the southwest Little Rock plant produced its first blade in February 2008, executives said the factory had 1,000 orders that would have taken them through the end of 2009 to complete. “Things have changed pretty significantly for the last couple of months for us,” Mr. Fox said. Customer orders began to slow, some existing orders were postponed and others were canceled. Denmark-based Glasfiber says various wind energy projects are being delayed because entities behind the projects are having trouble getting financing. Glasfiber, which is owned by London-based private investor group Doughty Hanson & Co., located in Arkansas after the state granted a package of incentives.