By Brian Quinn
WELLSVILLE — Air Preheater in Wellsville will be sold as part of a plan to sell parts of ALSTOM’s Auxiliary Components business, according to a statement the company released Wednesday.
“As announced in November, Alstom intends to sell non-core assets to increase financial flexibility and enable strategic mobility. We confirm that a plan to sell parts of the Auxiliary Components business, a division of Thermal Power Sector, was presented to the European Works Forum. Discussions are ongoing and it is too early to share any further details on the disposal project at this point of time,”?ALSTOM?Media Relations Officer Fallon McLoughlin said in the statement. She said the Auxiliary Components business includes the Preheater group.
“The sale is targeted to be finalized in spring with a transition period to allow full separation from Alstom expected in early summer," McLoughlin said.
McLoughlin said all employees from Steam Auxiliaries Components activities, except coal mills for Power Plants activity, which will be integrated into the steam boilers product line) will be impacted. This represents around 1,500 employees globally.
“There are over 500 employees in Wellsville, all will be affected by the transaction,”?she said.
Company officials met with Wellsville employees Wednesday afternoon at the Andover Road facility. There is also an ALSTOM facility on Main Street.
“We had a good meeting today with the employees and updated them on the status of the proposed sale and we pledged to keep them updated throughout the process,”?McLoughlin said in a statement after the meeting.
Allegany County Board of Legislators Chairman Curt Crandall Wednesday said he had only heard a potential sale is coming.
“I really didn’t have any specific information on it. We were waiting to have an announcement made by the company itself,”?Crandall said. “Any of those types of announcements and disclosures are always left up to the individual company and business themselves. We’ll wait to see what information they disclose.” Crandall said manufacturing “seems to be on good solid ground in Allegany County.”
“Part of that is due to a dedicated and skilled workforce. I think that Allegany County, generally, in each of the manufacturing centers ... we’re in good position for long-term employment,”?he said. “Obviously, these companies have been in Allegany County for a long time and we’re fortunate for that. They’ve invested long-term in Wellsville and Allegany County and we’re grateful for that.”
An ALSTOM worker leaving the meeting said the transaction will be good for all employees and points to “a good-looking future.”
According to the employee, nothing was said at the meeting about workers losing their jobs.
“It’s nothing losing, all gaining. Gaining new owners —?it’s all good,”?he said, noting the sale hasn’t been finalized.
John Foels, economic development director and county Industrial Development Agency executive director, declined to comment on the situation Wednesday. He said he wasn’t in a position to say anything without permission from ALSTOM.
“We don’t comment for the client. We’re, first of all, going to have to learn more information,”?Foels said. “I’m sure we’ll be provided more information at a later time.”
Air Preheater sale set for spring
By Brian Quinn