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Energy firm set to slash workforce despite £7m profits

CS Wind, based near Campbeltown, said 73 jobs could be lost among its 94 employees.

Wind farm: Up to 73 jobs could go.
Wind farm: Up to 73 jobs could go. Pixabay

A renewable energy firm in Argyll and Bute has announced it will cut up to three-quarters of its workforce, despite recording pre-tax profits of £7.1m last year.

CS Wind, based near Campbeltown, said up to 73 jobs could be lost among its 94 employees.

It is the only UK facility manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers, with the factory bought over by the South Korea-based firm in 2016.

Charlie Macdonald, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "The news of the redundancy notices affecting three-quarters of the workforce at CS Wind in Campbeltown is a major blow to Scotland's renewables manufacturing capacity.

"CS Wind is another example of the spaghetti bowl of multi-national interests calling the shots in our nation's renewables sector with scant regard for workers and communities.

"There needs to be urgent intervention by the Scottish Government because if the scale of these job losses goes unchallenged, not only is there a major cloud over the future of the factory in Campbeltown but also over Scotland's green manufacturing capacity."

Accounts lodged by the company in April show directors saw the future outlook for the next financial year as "positive".

It posted pre-tax profits in 2018 of £7.1m - up from a loss of £191,000 in 2017.

The business has made a £27m investment in the facility since taking over, while also having deals with Danish firm Orsted and Swedish company Vattenfall.

It has blamed the move on challenging market conditions for onshore towers and difficulties with supply chain companies in the offshore sector. The next potential order for the offshore build schedule is in 2020, it said.

A CS Wind spokeswoman said: "CS Wind UK is actively working with Unite the union, Argyll and Bute Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Engineering and the Westminster and Scottish governments on finding effective solutions and to support the workforce and wider local community impacted by this announcement."

Scotland's energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "This will be a very difficult time for those workers served redundancy notices at the CS Wind tower facility in Machrihanish.

"I have spoken with CS Wind UK management and committed to do all we can to support the company in their attempts to secure future work for the site.

"We have also been working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Argyll and Bute Council to support infrastructure investment locally in an effort to enhance infrastructure of the site."

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