AMSC plans Romania wind plant

US wind power technology group AMSC will set up a factory in Romania as part of an organisational shake-up that will see it cut its staff by up to 10% by the end of the year.

AMSC said the wind turbine electrical control systems plant in Timisoara, Romania, should be operational during the 2014 financial year.

The new plant will serve the Massachusetts-based company’s customers outside China, where its existing control systems plant will continue to supply Chinese turbine-makers.

AMSC said: “By expanding its manufacturing footprint into Eastern Europe, AMSC is enhancing its distribution capabilities and its global reach in a region that is a target market for its wind and grid products. Romania is an EU member state and cost-efficient manufacturing location with a highly skilled workforce.”

The Romania move is part of a reorganisation that will also see AMSC close the Middleton, Wisconsin, facility of its Gridtec grid-technology unit, moving the division to corporate HQ in Devens, Massachusetts.

Overall the company said it expects to end 2014 with a net employee reduction of between 5% and 10%.The group employed about 330 people as of August 2013.

AMSC expects the restructuring to cost it between $4m-$6m, exclusive of any impairment charges.

From the fourth quarter of the 2014 financial year it thinks the measures will save it $3m annually.

AMSC also released updated financial guidance of revenues of $14m-$16m in the fourth quarter of 2013, ending this month.

Excluding exceptional items, it sees a Q4 loss of $10m-$12m.

AMSC has endured a turbulent period since an abrupt rift with Sinovel in 2011.]

The US group has since engaged in a high-profile, international legal battle with its former biggest customer that is still entangled in the Chinese legal system.

AMSC’s shares surged briefly on news of the reorganisation, but ended yesterday 2.36% lower in New York trading.