A deal for Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) to build structures for a £2bn offshore wind farm has collapsed according to union leaders. BiFab was to manufacture eight turbine jackets at its yards in Methil, Fife, as part of the Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) project developed by EDF Renewables. However, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith and Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty used a joint statement to criticise the outcome which they labelled a “political failure”. They said: “It looks like the Scottish Government ministers have walked away from our best chance of building a meaningful offshore wind manufacturing sector, and in doing so has extinguished the hopes of communities in Fife and Lewis who were banking their future prosperity on it.
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A wind farm deal that would have seen 200 workers return to BiFab’s yards is on the verge of collapse putting the future of the company in doubt. BiFab had previously been selected by the developers of the Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind project to provide “at least” eight foundation jackets – used to anchor the turbines to the seabed. However this deal is now in doubt after BiFab owner DF Barnes accused the Scottish Government of pulling its support. It comes just weeks after BiFab also lost out in a bid to win work on the Seagreen offshore wind project off the coast of Angus – with the work instead going to China. DF Barnes admitted this now made the award of the multi-million pound contract “very challenging”. A company spokesperson said: “BiFab can confirm that following a decision by the Scottish Government that it can no longer provide assurances for the NnG jacket fabrication contract, the company has informed EDF & Saipem that it can’t provide the required assurances for the work.
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Scottish energy service firms are being encouraged to partner up with their counterparts in France in order to make inroads into its emerging offshore wind market. Julien Rapenne, international trade specialist at Scottish Development International, says that, although the French offshore wind sector has taken some time to gather momentum, an array of opportunities will soon become available.
Energy Voice 22nd Oct 2020 read more »