Cherbourg blade factory reaches 2018 hiring target

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Cherbourg blade factory recently completed its 2018 recruitment plan at its offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing site in Cherbourg, France.

The site counts more than 100 employees, 34 percent of whom are women.

The first group of 30 newly hired employees, from all functions, participated in the launch of the factory’s Center of Excellence training center September 30. These new employees joined a one-week theoretical class, followed by a week of practicing on an actual piece of a wind turbine blade mold.

After completing the Center of Excellence course, each trainee left Cherbourg to spend a month abroad at other LM Wind Power sites — from Spain, to Denmark, Poland, and even Canada depending on the job scope. Employees from sites around the globe will also travel to Cherbourg to support the ramp-up of the factory. The second group started their training program on October 22.

The first group of 30 newly hired employees, from all functions, participated in the launch of the factory’s Center of Excellence training center September 30. (Courtesy: LM Windpower)

“The Cherbourg site is a great location to support the development of the offshore wind industry in Europe and beyond, with a positive impact on the jobs and the ecosystem in the surrounding region,” said Alexis Crama, LM Wind Power Offshore Wind vice president. “We are investing in building a strong and sustainable value chain and are happy to welcome the first hundred recruits.”

The construction of the factory is on track to start the prototyping phase in January 2019. The first blade produced will be shipped to ORE Catapult Research & Development Center in Blyth, U.K., for indoor testing. The next three blades produced will be installed on GE’s Haliade-X 12-MW prototype at the end of the second quarter of 2019 at a yet to-be-determined site.

“This project entails new challenges and creates enthusiasm as we are starting up a new factory, installing new equipment inside, and welcoming new people with diverse backgrounds,” said Lukasz Cejrowski, LM 107.0 P project director. “At the same time, we are developing a new product: a new blade of a size we have never achieved before. We can witness a significant combination of efforts as we use the expertise from our facilities worldwide to train the people in Cherbourg. This enthusiasm from all our teams will bring us to the successful ramp-up of the factory.”

In parallel to the development of the LM 107.0 P blades in Cherbourg, GE’s Offshore Wind teams is focused on the assembly of the first two Haliade-X nacelles at the Saint-Nazaire manufacturing site in France.

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