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German wind turbine maker Fuhrländer files for bankruptcy

German wind-turbine manufacturer Fuhrländer has filed for bankruptcy, claiming that delayed projects among its customers have left it in a position where it can no longer cover its bills.

Fuhrländer has applied to self-administer its own insolvency proceedings, and says it has been in touch with all its major business partners to “ensure the continuation of the company”.

Based in the west German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Fuhrländer says it will not immediately make any staff reductions – having already slimmed its headcount earlier this year as part of a strategic overhaul.

In May a consortium known as Windgrösse – controlled by Ukrainian investor Maxim Efimov, and with ties to Russian nuclear giant Rosatom – acquired 80% of Fuhrländer.

Almost immediately the company’s founder, Joachim Fuhrlander, was replaced by Werner Heer – who has deep ties to the Chinese market – as Fuhrlander chairman. In August, Riccardo Gava, an Italian with extensive restructuring experience, was appointed chief executive.

About 17% is owned by Windreich, the German developer behind Global Tech 1 and several other major offshore projects. Windreich chief executive Willi Balz sits on Fuhrländer’s supervisory board.

Fuhrländer’s push into the Ukrainian market has been a key plank of its future strategy. But the company indicates that it may have been delayed projects in Ukraine that pushed it over the edge.