Danbury producer cuts 135 jobs – Torrington Register Citizen

FuelCell Vitality CEO Chip Bottone in February 2017.

FuelCell Vitality CEO Chip Bottone in February 2017.

Photograph: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media


Photograph: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media

FuelCell Vitality CEO Chip Bottone in February 2017.

FuelCell Vitality CEO Chip Bottone in February 2017.

Photograph: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media

Danbury producer cuts 135 jobs

FuelCell Vitality laid off 135 workers on Friday, with the corporate stating it should save $11.5 million yearly in consequence.

FuelCell disclosed the job cuts Monday in a submitting with the U.S. Securities & Change Fee, stating the motion follows completion of a brand new energy plant on Triangle Avenue in Danbury that aligns gas cells otherwise to extend the effectivity of the hydrogen used for his or her gas.

FuelCell additionally introduced the retirement of Anthony Rauseo as chief working officer, who held the position since 2010 and acquired $830,000 in compensation final yr.

Beneath CEO Chip Bottone, FuelCell has its primary manufacturing unit in Torrington the place it produces gas cells that generate electrical energy via a chemical course of. The job cuts had been cut up largely between Danbury and Torrington, based on Tom Gelston, head of investor relations, with the corporate having 420 workers between the 2 places as of March and 60 elsewhere.

“We don’t undertake these actions frivolously, and we stay targeted on executing within the near-term on the (80-plus) megawatts in backlog of initiatives we have now already gained,” Gelston said in an e-mail response to a Hearst Connecticut question on Monday. “These actions shouldn’t influence our industrial skill to ship on these initiatives.”

Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone mentioned she bought a cellphone name Friday telling her in regards to the layoffs, including “They mentioned it was monetary circumstances.” “There are such a lot of gifted Torrington residents,” she mentioned.

Carbone mentioned in a later e-mail that she was “very disillusioned to study of the layoffs right here in Torrington and Danbury. Gasoline Cell not too long ago reached out to my workplace to ask us to have a good time their 50th anniversary and fewer than 2 weeks later, they referred to as to tell me of the reductions being made to their workforce. I sincerely hope this can be a momentary measure that can afford them to restructure and rebuild.”

In January, FuelCell reworked the phrases of a $10 million mortgage first issued in 2015 by the state, with the corporate required to have a Connecticut workforce numbering almost 540 folks by 2022. FuelCell would obtain a $2 million mortgage “forgiveness” credit score if it does so.

If it falls quick, it might be required to pay $18,600 for every promised job it failed to keep up for a interval of two years. Gelston didn’t state instantly whether or not FuelCell has sought any new adjustment to the phrases of the deal.

FuelCell reported a $33 million loss within the first quarter of its fiscal yr protecting November via January — the biggest it ever reported for a single, three-month interval — with income down by greater than half to $17.eight million.

After a $62 million loss in its 2018 fiscal yr, FuelCell has gone 20 years now with no revenue. The corporate’s belongings totaled $346 million coming into February, together with $27.7 million in money unrestricted by any contractual necessities.

Contributing to FuelCell’s current losses have been dividends it has paid out to buyers for most popular inventory as a way to lift money to fund operations, with FuelCell’s widespread inventory buying and selling at 27 cents a share Monday. The corporate faces a late Might deadline to elevate the value above $1 or see its inventory delisted from the Nasdaq alternate on which its shares commerce.

FuelCell reported having a report, $1.three billion backlog as of January, with orders for energy vegetation in Connecticut and New York taking on a number of the slack from declining enterprise in South Korea. The corporate is now in a authorized dispute with an influence firm there that had lengthy been its largest buyer.

“We’ve seen each utility corporations within the state — Avangrid and Eversource — acknowledge the advantages of our initiatives,” Bottone mentioned final month throughout a convention name with buyers. “The identical dynamics that took form in South Korea and in Connecticut are actually enjoying out in New York. The (Lengthy Island Energy Authority) initiatives … (put) vegetation proper the place the ability is required, and once more giving us a management place.”

The corporate not too long ago accomplished a design for a solid-oxide gas cell that generates lower than a megawatt of electrical energy, with its mainstay carbonate gas cell expertise having bigger capability.

JoAnn Ryan, president and CEO of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, mentioned the group has “the sources to assist the staff who’ve been laid off.

“Now we have a fast response workforce prepared. There a lot of jobs within the space. I do know of 1 firm (within the space) that’s including a second shift,” she mentioned.

Ryan mentioned she heard it was a complete shift of staff at FuelCell who had been laid off.

She mentioned the chamber would work with the state Division of Labor “to verify we might help. It’s not simple for both the staff or the employers.”

Requested in regards to the influence of the layoffs, she mentioned that “lots of people didn’t sleep effectively over the weekend.”

Leslie Hutchison contributed to this story. Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

wordpress autoblog
amazon autoblog
affiliate autoblog
wordpress website
website development

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.