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The Danish wind-energy company Vestas is selling its tower manufacturing plant in Pueblo to CS Wind, based in South Korea.
The announcement of the sale follows one in February to shut down construction of wind turbine blades at its plant in Brighton and consolidate production at its plant in Windsor. The move eliminated 280 jobs.
Vestas also cut a total of about 170 jobs at the Pueblo factory and the Brighton nacelles factory earlier this year. At the time, the company said it planned to offer new jobs to approximately 150 of the affected workers.
The Vestas U.S. plant in Pueblo, which opened in 2009, employs about 500 people and produces more than 3,000 tower segments annually. Vestas released a statement Thursday saying that the aim of the agreement with CS Wind is to allow the factory to be run by a company that specializes in manufacturing towers for wind turbines. Production will be expanded to multiple wind-turbine producers, including Vestas, the company said.
After the sale, Vestas will have about 1,200 employees in Colorado at three sites: two factories and a tools warehouse in Brighton. Company spokeswoman Chanté Condit-Pottol said the agreement with CS Wind is effective immediately, although the transition will take four to eight weeks because the deal is subject to regulatory approval.
“Across our global supply chain footprint, we are involving more partners to build on the foundations we have established for wind energy. This includes honing our own resources to where they can be most effective and transferring parts of our operational setup to be run by other industry leaders who can create more value and secure additional long-term jobs,” said Tommy Rahbek Nielsen, Vestas executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The Pueblo plant is the last tower factory that Vestas owns and operates itself. The company didn’t say how much CS Wind will pay for the plant.
CS Wind said in a statement that the acquisition of the Pueblo facility will increase its global workforce to more than 3,300. Vestas employs more than 29,000 people globally, roughly 4,000 of which are in the U.S.