DANBURY, Conn., Dec. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a global leader in the design, manufacture, operation and service of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced a business restructuring to reduce costs and align production levels with current levels of demand in a manner that is consistent with the Company's long-term strategic plan. The Company is reducing materials spend as well as implementing various cost control initiatives. The workforce was reduced at both the North American production facility in Torrington, Connecticut, as well as at corporate offices in Danbury and remote locations. A total of 96 positions, or approximately 17 percent of the global workforce, was impacted. In conjunction with the personnel reduction, the Company is implementing other measures to reduce operating costs by at least $6 million on an annualized basis. The production rate has been reduced to 25 megawatts annually, from the prior rate of 50 megawatts annually, in order to position for delays in anticipated order flow. A personnel-related restructuring charge of approximately $3.0 million will be incurred in fiscal 2017, with approximately one half of the charge composed of cash severance costs and the remainder representing non-cash charges. This production level is anticipated to be temporary and will be reevaluated as order flow dictates, with any future increases being undertaken from what is now a lower cost basis. "We are streamlining our business and cost structure as we reduce our production levels to meet the backlog we have today while positioning the Company for long term success. Our employees are our most valued assets so the decision to reduce our workforce was not made lightly," said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer FuelCell Energy. Project development activities are continuing with proposals being submitted for a utility-scale fuel cell only request for proposal process in New York with decisions expected in the first half of 2017. The Company also intends to continue to develop and complete utility-scale fuel cell projects in Connecticut under future processes to advance the State's stated critical energy goals. Favorable legislative and regulatory developments in New York and California are expected to be supportive of projects in the Company's pipeline and the European market is expanding as illustrated by the second utility order recently announced by the Company. Fuel cell carbon capture opportunities are advancing with a demonstration project at a utility-owned coal/gas-fired power plant and developing interest from Canadian oil sands operators as demonstrated by a recently announced engineering study.