MORE than 100 jobs have been lost after an Irvine-based wind turbine installation company entered administration just weeks before Christmas.

Windhoist Ltd, which operates out of Meadowhead Industrial Estate, was formed in 2005 and provides heavy lift, mechanical and electrical installation services to the onshore and offshore wind industry.

According to Companies House, administration started on November 29 with Grant Thornton appointed to oversee the insolvency process for the Scottish and Irish branches of the company.

The administrators told the Times: "The Windhoist business provided specialist engineering and construction services in the renewable energy sector and owing to adverse trading conditions in recent years, encountered significant cash flow issues in the days prior to appointment.

"The directors therefore concluded that they had no alternative but to place both companies into an insolvency process.

“Company employees and sub-contractors were mainly working on contracts in Ireland and Finland at the date of appointment.

"The joint administrators, having considered the financial and contractual position of the companies, concluded that there was no alternative but to cease operations and, unfortunately, 121 employees have now been made redundant.

"The remaining 14 employees have been retained to assist with the orderly wind-down of the business, and to ensure that those employees who work overseas are brought home as soon as practically possible.”

In the company's most recent accounts, filed for the year ending December 31, 2020, total revenue for the year was £27.6 million, down from £30.2m in the previous 12 months.

The company made an operating loss of £2.4m in 2020 having written off more than £8m of bad debts from an Australian subsidiary which also entered administration.

The downturn was attributed to the business facing "unprecedented challenges" due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a "severe winter shutdown period".

Windhoist was acquired by private equity firm STAR Capital in 2019 and later became part of the larger Windlogix Group which also includes inspection firm Stowen and training provider Hexis.

A statement from STAR Capital said Windhoist has been "severely impacted" in recent years by a "series of unforeseeable external factors".

It added: "Both the Covid pandemic and its subsequent significant supply chain disruptions have led to considerable delays in projects, an inability to move expert technicians and equipment to overseas locations for extended periods of time, shortages of skilled labour and inflationary pressures on its customer base and the wider industry.

"More recently these pressures have been compounded by other world events, including the Russia/Ukraine conflict and continuing lockdowns in China.

"The directors will work closely with the administrator to support those impacted by this difficult decision.”