Otter Tail Corporation’s (OTTR) DMI Industries To Cut Workforce

DMI industries, an operating company of Otter Tail, just announced that it will  be cutting its workforce by 20% due to the current economic situation. The company will start 2009 with 750 employees in total, 150 more than at the beginning of 2008. The workers who have been laid off will be provided benefits and compensation for a transition period.

Here’s what DMI president Stefan Nilsson had to say about the layoffs:

"We remain committed to the wind energy market and have confidence in its outlook for the future,” said DMI president Stefan Nilsson. “Nevertheless, we are required to make the reductions at this time in light of the downturn for wind farm projects, which we expect to last through this year.”

“Where we had been building up our capacities to meet projected increases in 2009 volumes, we now expect overall production levels for DMI this year to be slightly lower than in 2008,” said Nilsson. Through last fall the outlook for the wind energy industry was that of continued, significant growth for the year ahead. Now, although estimates vary, 2009 projections for installed megawatts are 25 to 35 percent lower than those for 2008.

“Today’s actions are very unfortunate but necessary at this time. The weaker outlook means a short-term step backward, but the actions taken now will help DMI maintain its competitiveness and productivity in all three facilities, and ensure the company remains well-positioned for continued growth and profitability."

3 thoughts on “Otter Tail Corporation’s (OTTR) DMI Industries To Cut Workforce”

  1. With all the attention thrown at wind-generated power, and the fact that “everybody” loves wind-generated power, this tells me volumes about the cost effectiveness (or efficiency) of wind power vs hydrocarbon (coal, natural gas).

    For me, in a climate in which the government and the people are “demanding” wind power, and yet we don’t have it, suggests the costs are prohibitive. What am I missing?

    This has to be the easiest thing in the world, to build something that everyone wants. No one wants coal-burning generators and yet they continue to be built. What am I missing?

  2. Bruce, this is more about the difficulty in raising money to build large projects of any kind right now rather than a carbon vs. wind issue. Banks have dramatically reduced lending, investors are not investing as they were, etc. It’s a slow down that effects everyone.

  3. China has so much money (American debt) it doesn’t know what to do with it, and it’s building a new coal-powered plant every week (on average).

    China recognizes the problems with pollution and says it is investing in “clean” coal technology.

    The fact that China can find enough money to build a power plant / week but using coal, still tells me volumes about efficiency of wind.

    China needs coal-powered plants to back up wind generators which are unpredictable.

    It’s much more than just capital. See status of T. Boone Pickens mega-wind farm in west Texas. I understand it’s dead in the water, but I could be wrong. He estimated in 2006 it would cost $6 billion dollars; in 2007, it went to $10 billion, and in 2008 interview with The Guardian (UK) he admitted it was now up to $12 billion.

    Yes, he said credit was a problem, but $12 billion for a project estimated to be $6 billion, again, tells me volumes about the credibility of wind.

    By the way, CERN’s chief, this week, June 3, 2009, said wind energy was illusory, and said “we” neeed to move to solar. I find solar even more illusory than wind in the next 50 years.

    Yes, 100 years from now we will be using renewables and/or nuclear but the facts seem to speak for themselves.

    Everybody wants it (wind) but no one is building it to scale.

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