LM Wind Power – the turbine blade subsidiary of GE Renewable Energy – has halted work at its two production plants in Spain amid the coronavirus crisis gripping the country.

The company’s plants in Castellon and Leon are not operating, a company spokeswoman confirmed to Recharge.

“GE’s number one priority is the health and safety of our employees. We are working closely with local governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), and US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to actively monitor the outbreak and take all necessary precautions.

“Across our businesses, we are in constant communication with customers, suppliers, and governments to maintain business continuity to the best of our ability,” said the spokeswoman, declining to comment further.

Recharge understands from industry sources that the plant shutdowns were agreed with union representatives and initially involve downtime originally planned for the Easter vacation, with no immediate impact on production schedules.

Spain last weekend joined neighbouring Italy at the sharp end of the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, with a rapid increase in infections and severe restrictions on movement and assembly by the authorities.

Siemens Gamesa closed a plant in Madrid for disinfection following a positive case of the coronavirus there.

Analysts at BloombergNEF said last week there was “considerable downside risk” to its earlier forecasts for global wind deployment in 2020, while industry body WindEurope said that it expected the impacts on the European sector to be felt as the number of infections increases.