The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

November 16, 2012

Grove battery plant to lay off 63 workers

GROVE, Okla. — Xtreme Power said this week it will lay off 63 people at its Grove plant as it scales back production. The company notified employees Wednesday and Thursday that the job loss is immediate.

Officials with the plant referred calls to Greg Vistica, company spokesman, in Washington, D.C. He said that a drop in demand for the company’s lead-acid batteries prompted the layoffs.

He also said about a dozen employees on a “skeleton” crew will continue to produce batteries on a limited basis.

The company produces batteries that store energy generated by wind and solar power systems, providing a steady source of electricity to the grid.

In a statement, Vistica also said, that “Xtreme Power continues to focus attention and resources on a broader range of battery and power management systems. While this means we will be far better positioned to serve our customers and the marketplace tomorrow, it also means for some painful changes today.”

He also said the company will provide severance and on-site employment counseling to people losing their jobs.

“While a painful moment for our company, it's a necessary transition to stay at the forefront of our industry,” according to the statement.

Vistica also said they are exploring interest from some potential buyers, but couldn’t comment beyond that.

“Customer demand for energy storage continues to migrate to applications that are best served with other battery chemistries. As such, XP has been aggressively responding to this shift in demand by partnering with leading battery producers, including GE with its Duration Battery, as well as several other battery manufacturers. We feel strongly that this diverse product offering and these new partnerships will position XP for continued growth in the energy storage market,” he said in a statement.

The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Kyle, Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Peak employment

According to the Lisa Friden, president of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, the Xtreme Power plant opened in 2008 and employed 108 people at its peak.



 

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