ABB pulling part of its manufacturing operations out of Estonia

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ABB facility in Jüri.
ABB facility in Jüri. Source: Google Streetview

International energy and automation technology group ABB is moving its electricity distribution equipment production facility out of Estonia, leading to just under a hundred job losses, the company says. The factory had up to now been based in Jüri, just outside Tallinn, workplace of over a thousand ABB employees.

Sven Sommer, communication specialist at ABB Estonia, told BNS Thursday that: "As of today we are talking about fewer than 100 people who will be affected by this decision."

"Our people have been informed and we will inform them additionally about all vacancies. It's difficult to predict the exact number of people remaining in ABB at present," Sommer said, but forecast that the company's prospects in Estonia were sound and that no other relocations outside Estonia were imminent.

He said: "We have committed people with good knowledge and skills, and a high level of work culture."

The production aspects of ABB's activities will be moved to various locations in Europe, BNS reports, though the company will retain its electricity distribution equipment sales facility in Estonia.

Following these changes, ABB will also continue manufacturing at its motors and generators, and frequency converters, plants, BNS reports, as well as continuing to operate in robotics, process automation and electrification.

ABB has invested over €100 million in Estonia over the past 30 years, while currently employees over 1,100 people nationwide. In 2017, Invest in Estonia reported, the company employed over 1,000 staff at its company campus in Jüri, about 15km southeast of Tallinn city center.

ABB's business had up to now been divided into four areas: Sales, manufacture, maintenance services and business services.

Electricity unit substations development and sales, and electric vehicle charging and energy storage solutions, will continue to be the company focus in Estonia, BNS reports.

ABB AS' turnover last year was €156.7 million, ERR reports, a slight fall on the previous year's figure of €158.2 million. 

Over the same period, orders fell by 11 percent, from €161.8 million to €144 million, while export volumes increased by eight percent from €124.7 million to €135.2 million. 

Exports accounted for 86 percent of sales revenue, and investments totaled €3.2 million (compared with €3.5 million a year earlier). In 2020, the company employed 1,184 people, down from 1,196 in 2019.

Net profit in 2020 stood at €1 million, down from €1.15 million the previous year.

This piece was updated to include quotes from an ABB spokesperson regarding the number of people likely to be laid off.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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