At three mothballed fabrication yards in Scotland, promises by Boris Johnson that the UK would become the “Saudi Arabia” of wind power rang hollow as their owner BiFab, a producer of giant foundations for offshore turbines, collapsed last month. The move into administration by the 20-year-old Fife company, which at its peak employed up to 2,000 workers at the three yards, came just a fortnight after the UK prime minister had placed offshore wind at the centre of his “green industrial revolution”. Mr Johnson’s 10-point plan promised 60,000 jobs and turbines in British waters that would “power every home” by 2030.BiFab’s struggles in recent years, which saw it lose out on lucrative contracts on UK projects to competitors in the United Arab Emirates and China, meant its collapse came as little surprise. But the demise of the company, which had its roots in the North Sea oil industry, was still a painful reminder of the empty promises made by successive governments that offshore wind would herald a bright new industrial dawn for Britain. The UK’s waters are home to more offshore wind farms than anywhere else in the world but this concentration has not translated into the jobs and manufacturing boom envisaged in the years since the first one came on stream 20 years ago.
FT 8th Jan 2021 read more »