November 24, 2010

Siemens wind turbine repair jobs in Newtown could move

BBC News, 24 November 2010

A company repairing and servicing wind turbines plans to shut a base in Powys, putting 40 local jobs at risk.

Siemens Energy Service UK wants to move 40 staff from Newtown to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a small number could go to Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

The firm, which employs more than 830 people in Wales, said other offices in Swansea, Caldicot, Cwmbran, Llanberis, and Cardiff would be unaffected.

Siemens said it had informed staff, and planned to relocate by 31 March.

Siemens Energy Service UK is part of a global division, which provides wind turbine service and maintenance.

A company spokeswoman said: “The proposed relocation of the Newtown operation is part of the energy service division’s integration programme, designed to create a truly integrated, best practice, zero-harm business.

“The integration will bring major benefits to customers and synergies for the UK business by streamlining the majority of operations in a central location.

“Siemens is committed to full and open communication and will consult fully with all employees throughout the relocation process.”

Siemens employs 17,000 people in the UK.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said he had a “huge amount of sympathy” for the 40 workers, some of whom would be unable to relocate.

“I’m sad for the loss of 40 jobs from Newtown and the local economy can’t afford it.

“But it’s clear there’s been a huge shift in sympathy from onshore wind energy to offshore wind power and I think this is reflected in Siemens’ decision.”

Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates said: “I am disappointed by the news that Siemens plans to close its factory in Newtown, which is a disaster for our economy in mid Wales.

“Discussions are taking place with employees and some will be offered redeployment to other Siemens facilities in Wales or Newcastle.”

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