£100 million Beatrice wind farm contract bonanza for Scots steel-fabrication firm

CGI of what Beatrice wind farm, Moray Firth, will look like when completed.
CGI of what Beatrice wind farm, Moray Firth, will look like when completed.

A Scots manufacturer of high-quality steel fabrications for the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors has landed a £100 million order with Dutch EPC contractor SHL to supply fabrication work for the Beatrice offshore wind farm.

The contract is a significant one for BurntIsland Fabrications Ltd –  known as BiFab – which has helped secure jobs at its three sites.

Now more than 16 years old, the company employs over 1,000 people across two sites in Fife and a third facility at Lewis.

BiFab’s main strength has traditionally been in the oil and gas sector, but the growth of the renewable energy industry has led the company to diversify, and it is now a leading supplier with a strong track record in offshore wind, wave and tidal power as well.

However, as part of the terms of the contract, the buyer required performance and warranty bonds from BiFab’s bank. Due to the size of the contract, the bond requirements were significant, and the bank required additional security in order to issue the bonds.

So Jon Boyce, Senior Manager at UK Export Finance, worked with BiFab to provide a solution where its bank was able to issue the bonds to the overseas buyer while UKEF provided the bank with a UK government-backed guarantee – meaning that BiFab was able to hold back cash to use to fulfil the contract.

John Robertson, Managing Director, BurntIsland Fabrications, said: “This contract gave us a valuable opportunity to be part of a major renewable energy infrastructure project, as well as a significant boost to our revenue at a difficult time due to the low level of activity within the oil and gas sector.

“Working with UK Export Finance meant that we were able to realise this opportunity.”

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