11.01.18

75 jobs in limbo as Barco considers future of former projectiondesign facility

Barco could be closing part of its Fredrikstad operation in a move that would affect 75 employees at the site in Norway.

If the plan goes ahead, the production facility – part of the former headquarters of projectiondesign, a specialist projector manufacturer that Barco purchased in 2012 – could move to Belgium and be incorporated in the Kortrijk site.

More than 150 people work at Barco’s Fredrikstad operation with around 75 employed in the manufacturing facility.

Carl Vanden Bussche, VP of investor relations, confirmed to InAVate that a study had commenced with a scope to consider if the move was viable and how it could be executed. At this stage he acknowledged that a move could lead to job losses as a result of a possible relocation but highlighted that this would be considered as part of the study.

“Legal obligations have to be made so the process will take at least 30 calendar days,” said Vanden Busshe. “However, with an announcement of this kind it is important not to create a long period of uncertainty so a decision will be as swift as possible.”

While Barco confirmed it was considering the move, local daily newspaper Fredrikstad Blad reported that employees had been informed of the move in a meeting on January 4, 2018.

The Barco press release said:
“In order to strengthen its competitive position, Barco is now investigating to streamline its activities and to improve operational efficiency by re-locating the Fredrikstad manufacturing activities and merging it with the larger projection factory at its new facility in Kortrijk (Belgium). Manufacturing and related activities in the Fredrikstad premise today include in total 75 employees.

“In parallel, the role of Fredrikstad as Center of Excellence for the Barco Group for Innovation, R&D and business development activities related to single-chip DLP projection will be further strengthened and expanded.”