Siemens closing Ontario turbine blade manufacturing plant

Closure blamed on "dramatic" changes in global wind market, presenting increased competition and cost pressures.

TILLSONBURG, Ont. — Siemens Wind Power Ltd. has announced the closure of its wind blade manufacturing plant in Tillsonburg, Ont.

The closure will affect 340 employees, and will be conducted in phases through the rest of this year.

The company says the decision to close the plant comes as a result of significant changes in the global and regional markets, combined with physical limitations at the existing plant.

Siemens says the global market has become increasingly competitive—driving a reduction in prices of more than 66% in the last seven years. Today’s market environment requires significantly larger blades, which the Tillsonburg factory can’t easily be adapted to manufacture, requiring significant investments to bring the plant in line with current market requirements. The company says those costs are uncompetitive in the global market.

The market in Eastern Canada has experienced a significant reduction in the demand for blades in the last year.
The export market into the US has been delayed due to a combination of factors, including uncertainty around the US tax policy.

The plant began commercial operation in 2011 to provide wind blades for projects in Ontario and beyond. Since then, the plant has produced more than 2,500 blades and supported projects in Ontario, Quebec, the US, the UK and Sweden.

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