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Wind Tower Manufacturer Cutting Back

DMI Industries says it's cutting back its work force, six months after the company announced a major expansion of its West Fargo, N.D. plant.

WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Wind tower manufacturer DMI Industries says it is cutting about 20 percent of its work force due to declining demand from developers struggling to get financing for wind projects.

Monday's announcement came six months after Fargo-based DMI announced a major expansion.

A statement from the company said the cuts will be spread across DMI's three sites in North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Ontario but it did not give specific figures for each site.

The company said that even with the cuts, it still has more than 150 workers more than last year, and a total of more than 750 employees in its three production facilities.

DMI's statement said "difficult credit conditions continue to impact the ability of wind energy developers to secure needed project financing."

"We remain committed to the wind energy market and have confidence in its outlook for the future," DMI president Stefan Nilsson said. "Nevertheless, we are required to make the reductions at this time in light of the downturn for wind farm projects, which we expect to last through this year."

Last June, DMI announced it was adding as many as 75 employees to its West Fargo plant as part of a $20 million expansion to increase its production of wind towers.

DMI is a unit of Otter Tail Corp. of Fergus Falls, Minn. It has plants in West Fargo and in Tulsa, Okla., and Fort Erie, Ontario.

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