Staff go as oil price hits Alstom orders

Alstom Electrical Machines is slashing its Rugby workforce by almost half because of falling orders, largely in the offshore industry, which has been hit by low oil prices. Some 220 of 550 jobs at the Midlands site are to go. Alstom Electrical Machines makes power generators and motors for pumps and compressors. Oil, gas and […]

Alstom Electrical Machines is slashing its Rugby workforce by almost half because of falling orders, largely in the offshore industry, which has been hit by low oil prices.

Some 220 of 550 jobs at the Midlands site are to go.

Alstom Electrical Machines makes power generators and motors for pumps and compressors. Oil, gas and petrochemicals is its main market.

Worse may come. Energy consultant Wood Mackenzie this week predicts that oil companies will cut their UK capital investment projects by 47% to about £2.3bn this year, more than twice the 20% global average reduction.

Capital investment in UK chemicals, another key market, is expected to fall by 5% to £3bn this year. Brenig Williams, chief executive of the Engineering Construction Industry Association said: ‘The indicators point to a downturn when already sanctioned work runs out at the end of the year.’

An Alstom spokeswoman said: ‘It’s hard to predict when our markets will recover, just as it was difficult to predict a year ago that we would be where we are today.’

The cuts are part of a restructuring plan hitting staff at all levels. Cost cuts are also being sought at Rugby’s sister site in Nancy, France.

Redundant workers may find work in other areas such as Alstom Transport’s nearby Birmingham factory, gearing up for a Virgin Trains tilt train order.

See Grangemouth jobs, page 6; Railways, page 22