France

France

GE plans offshore wind job cuts

GE Renewable Energy is looking to cut jobs in its offshore wind unit based in France, because of delays in getting final approval for the country's offshore projects.

GE is in line to supply 238 Haliade 6MW turbines to three offshore sites in France that have been bogged down in permitting (pic: GE / Jon Cheray
GE is in line to supply 238 Haliade 6MW turbines to three offshore sites in France that have been bogged down in permitting (pic: GE / Jon Cheray

"GE has started discussions with employee representatives... to include the feasibility of a voluntary departure plan," the company said.

According to French media, around 80 posts could go, mainly from the Haliade turbine factory and the design office in Nantes and St-Nazaire.

GE employs 370 people in its offshore division in France.

The company is in line to supply 238 Haliade 6MW turbines to three offshore projects -- Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Nazaire -- awarded to an EDF Renewables-led consortium in 2012.

However, everything is on hold while the final challenges against the permits go through the courts.

At the same time, GE confirmed that it will not meet its commitment to create 1,000 jobs net by the end of 2018, as promised when the company was negotiating to buy the power branch of Alstom, including its offshore wind business, in 2014.

This means they will now have to pay €50 million into a re-industrialisation fund as compensation.

While GE has invested nearly €1 billion and recruited 3,000 people in France since 2015, net job creation stood at just 25 posts, the Ministry of Economy revealed earlier this week.

The company has been hit by the "evolution of the energy markets, and the acceleration of the energy transition, which severely limited the gas turbine market," the ministry said.

GE stressed "in a particularly difficult market environment, the company did its utmost to create jobs".

The company also affirmed its long-term commitment to France, particularly in renewables, as demonstrated by the strengthening of its Renewable Energy division announced in January. 

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