Norway was hit with the prospect of another major round of job losses when Rolls-Royce Marine announced Wednesday it would shut down its plant at Hjørungavåg in the county of Møre og Romsdal. Around 200 people work at the plant, and many are likely to lose their jobs.
Employees were told Wednesday morning that the factory, which produces equipment for seismic- and subsea vessels, has too few orders in the wake of the sharp decline in oil prices. The market for the plant’s products has simply dried up.
“There will be too little work for the factory after New Year to defend the costs of having the entire plant in production,” Anette Bonnevie Wollebæk told state broadcaster NRK. The head of the company, John Knudsen, resigned earlier this week but Wollebæk told reporters that was prompted by “personal reasons.”
She said not everyone would necessarily lose their jobs. Some of the production at Hjørungavåg will be moved to another Rolls-Royce Marine plant in Sunnmøre, she said. “We have engineers and sales people whom we want to take care of and find new locations for,” she said.
It was the latest in a string of layoffs within the oil and offshore industry in Norway, as oil prices stayed below USD 50 a barrel this week. Another 300 Rolls-Royce employees lost their jobs earlier this year, 173 of them in Sunnmøre. The company also has divisions in Hordaland County.