Siemens to cut 2,700 jobs at gas and power unit, sells eAircraft business to Rolls-Royce
Clean Energy Wire
Siemens plans to cut 2,700 jobs at its gas and power business over the course of several years in addition to the 10,400 it is already shedding in its core units, news agency Reuters reports. Siemens said last month it was spinning off its gas and power business, which has acted as a drag on the firm’s performance as the rise of renewable power hits demand for gas turbines. The firm said on Tuesday that the creation of a separate operating company had led to significant synergies. Job cuts were needed to readjust to the changing market, with 2,700 positions to go worldwide, including 1,400 in Germany, it said.
Siemens also announced it was selling its in-house electric aviation start-up eAircraft to British Rolls-Royce. Siemens added that it intended “to sharpen its portfolio's focus” and the electric aircraft business would have “substantially better growth perspectives with new owners closely connected to the aerospace industry”. Siemens' eAircraft business employs around 180 electrical designers and engineers across locations in Germany and Hungary.
Siemens epitomises the upheaval caused by the Energiewende in the world’s fourth largest economy like few other companies. Despite the emphasis on sustainability in its corporate communications, Siemens underestimated the shift to renewable energy in Germany and abroad – similarly to many utilities as well as competitors GE and Mitsubishi Heavy – and remained a big supplier to the oil and gas industry. The Power and Gas division, which specialises in gas turbines, is by revenue still the company’s largest business and has long been instrumental for the group’s total profits. This is why the collapse of international demand for fossil power generation caused “disruption of unprecedented scope and speed” in this business area, according to Siemens.