The fate of Burntisland Fabrications hangs in the balance. Its workforce of just under 1,400, spread across three sites – two in Fife, one on the Isle of Lewis – are still working without pay to complete existing contracts. Bifab’s directors have filed a precautionary notice of their intention to appoint administrators if talks with their client fail to reach a resolution. That client is Seaway Heavy Lifting, the Dutch group and one of three main contractors building the first big offshore wind farm in Scottish waters. The £2.6 billion Beatrice project and its 84 turbines, when completed, will be spread across the outer Moray Firth. Producing up to 588 megawatts of electricity when the wind blows, Beatrice potentially could power three times the present number of homes across the entire northwest Highlands. The biggest player throughout the Beatrice saga has been SSE, the once-state-owned power utility with its roots deep in Scotland’s postwar drive to develop hydro-electric power. After the millennium, SSE partnered with Talisman, a Canadian energy group, to build a two-turbine project near the established Beatrice oilfield, demonstrating that wind also could be harnessed in waters 45 metres deep. Initially, SSE held a dominant 75 per cent stake in a full-scale Beatrice, but after a rethink of its commitment to offshore wind that started four years ago, that stake is down to 40 per cent. The other 35 per cent of SSE’s original interest was sold off in two tranches to Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Times 15th Nov 2017 read more »
The Scottish Government has pledged to do whatever it can to help the struggling engineering firm BiFab after “disputed payments” sparked a financial crisis there. Economy Secretary Keith Brown said that while the difficulties were centred around a contract between private companies, ministers would “do what we can to help to try to achieve a solution”. Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) says it has been left facing a “critical cash position” as a result of ongoing contracts, with the firm having filed a notice of its intention to appoint administrators. Despite the fact they may not get paid, staff there have voted to continue working until further notice.
Scotsman 14th Nov 2017 read more »