FORT MADISON - A sliver of news could have an impact on the almost shuttered Siemens Gamesa plant in Fort Madison.
A spokesperson for the wind blade manufacturer in Fort Madison today said that two "letters of intent" have been signed that could bring the plant, and the Hutchinson, Kansas. nacelle facility back into action at some level.
"Siemens Gamesa has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with a non-disclosed customer for two U.S. projects that will have a positive impact on the hibernation schedule of the Hutchinson and Fort Madison facilities. Many factors remain to be finalized; therefore, we cannot comment on any further details at this time," said a company spokesperson.
The plant announced the layoffs of 171 employees on May 20. Those layoffs came on the heels of a large reduction in force at the plant just south of Fort Madison on Hwy. 61, where more than 30% of staff were laid off in February.
During the May announcement, officials indicated plans were to close the facility in June, but Friday's announcement could possibly alter those plans.
The company cited a downturn in the market and a patent-infringement lawsuit as reasons for the sluggish demand on wind turbines. The lawsuit brought by General Electric was ultimately decided in Siemens favor, but the company was prevented from pursuing new orders during the determination period of the suit.
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