Wind gear specialist Moventas sees layoffs

Moventas Gears – the Finnish gear maker owned since last year by Scottish engineering group Clyde Blowers – is in discussions with staff over the implementation of temporary layoffs, which it blames on an “insufficient order backlog” for early 2013.

Last year Moventas nabbed an €80m ($106m) contract to supply gearboxes for Areva’s 5MW offshore turbine. However, that order is apparently not enough to keep the company’s production facilities humming at full capacity.

The layoffs concern the company’s more than 630 workers in Finland, according to chief executive Mikael Laine, with the layoff period to “vary by personnel group during the first half of the year”.

Moventas filed for bankruptcy in 2011 before being sold for €100m to Clyde Blowers, which has interests in a range of engineering groups, including Scotland’s David Brown Gear Systems.

As part of a new strategy unveiled in 2012, Moventas consolidated its Finnish production to a single location in Jyväskylä, as it looks to double its revenues by the end of 2015.

The company recently opened a subsidiary in India, where it hopes to expand its service network, and is considering setting up a local assembly operation to tap the country’s growing wind and minerals industries.