Germany

Germany

Bard moves to services, cuts 120 jobs

GERMANY: Struggling offshore wind firm Bard is to axe 120 jobs after failing to find an investor.

Bard's 5MW turbine
Bard's 5MW turbine

As a result Bard will refocus its energies on wind farm services, including for third parties, and away from installation and construction.

The two chartered installation vessels that the company owns are no longer required, the firm said, and as such fewer staff are needed. Bard added that there will have to be further lay offs among the 540 remaining staff.

The company's Bard Offshore 1 wind farm should be connected to the grid by September, but has suffered numerous delays and increasing costs, with an estimated loss from the project of EUR 710m. This led the firm to look for a buyer, but no investor has yet been forthcoming.

The planned 400MW follow-up project Veja Mate, with a construction permit and a firmly allocated grid connection to shore, remains on ice for lack of a concrete investor.

In a statement, Bard said: "There is no willingness to invest in fresh offshore wind energy projects, due to adverse political conditions. Even if we found an investor, due to the time required for planning and purchase of materials, we wouldn't be able to hold on to the current number of employees."

Bard has had a hard time of it recently after originally being set up as the world's first vertically integrated offshore wind energy firm, providing turbine and foundation construction, installation and services. However, the company appears to have overstretched itself and has had to shed elements of its business.

The company announced in February that it will close its tripod-construction subsidiary Cuxhaven Steel Construction (CSC) which led it to cut around 100 jobs. This followed the ending of its turbine blade production in 2012.


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