Wind power demand prompts Finnish exporter Moventas to expand production

A worker in the Moventas plant in Karkkila, Finland. (YLE News)
Increased interest in the possibilities of wind power has led Moventas, a Finnish exporter of wind turbine gearboxes, to invest 17 million euros in production plant expansion.

The company is planning to hire 100 new employees in line with the Jyväskylä addition.

Moventas, a manufacturer of wind turbine gearboxes in central Finland, has decided to expand its wind gearbox assembly and testing capacity in Jyväskylä to the tune of 17 million euros. The addition will help the company meet rising demand for turbine parts, as it is expected to be up and running in one year’s time.

“Our R&D investments over the last couple years are bearing fruit. We’ve got a great new product that has gained a terrific reception, meaning that we have seen a flood of new orders and new customers,” says Moventas’ CEO Arto Lahtela, in a Monday press release.

Lahtela refers to Moventas’ Exceed series gearbox, designed with 20 percent more torque density while still being ten percent smaller. The new technology has been proven to lower the life cycle cost of wind power, and the equivalent of one billions watts’ worth of the Exceed gearboxes have been delivered to three customers in five continents over the past year.

Light at the end of the tunnel

This good news is welcome after years of financial difficulties at the company that forced management to downsize and lay-off staff.

“Now we can finally invest in production and create some new jobs. We’ve got a constant search out for skilled new employees in several areas,” Lahtela told Yle.

Moventas plans to employ 35 new workers yet this year, reaching a total of 100 in the long term. The plant in Jyväskylä is now the workplace of 350 people.

“A significant investment in high-tech industry is always excellent news,” says Jyväskylä’s Mayor Timo Koivisto. ”It speaks volumes about Moventas’ competitiveness, but it also shows how quickly the city of Jyväskylä can respond to such things.”

In 2012, Moventas was acquired by the global industrial engineering firm Clyde Blowers, based out of Scotland. All of the products manufactured at Moventas are currently exported, with the largest market for the wind power gearboxes centred in India and the Americas.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Energy challenges in Canada’s North, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Helsinki City Council to close coal plant, Yle News

Norway: Japan wants wind power from Arctic Norway, Barents Observer

Russia: No alternative to Arctic oil says Russia environment minister, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden is Europe’s fastest growing wind power producer, Radio Sweden

United States: New Alaska rules may help renewable energy projects, Alaska Public Radio Network


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