‘600 jobs at risk in Fife as BiFab teeters on Administration’

The BiFab yard at Arnish.
The BiFab yard at Arnish.

Up to 600 jobs at a leading engineering company in Scotland’s energy industry are at risk as Burntisland Fabricators are understood to be on the verge of calling in administrators.

The firm builds large-scale equipment for the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as platforms for offshore wind turbines and tidal generators two two yards – one in Methil and another at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

The BBC reported that Fife-based BiFab has had cash flow problems linked to a contract for the Beatrice offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth, and has filed court papers with an intention to go into administration.

A year ago BiFab secured a £100 million contract for the manufacture of 26 offshore wind turbine jackets from the Dutch contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), part of the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project in the Outer Moray Firth led by Perth-based utility SSE, which has a 15% shareholding in the company.

The GMB union, which has 440 members across the three yards, said it had not been consulted and would hold an emergency workplace meeting with members this morning.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “This would be a hammer blow for BiFab’s workers and their communities in Fife and the Isle of Lewis, as well as the wider Scottish economy.

“It goes without saying that our members demand urgent answers from the employer about how it has ended up in this position less than a year after securing such a significant contract.

“We are in contact with the Scottish government and the possibility of losing over 600 highly skilled and decent paid jobs doesn’t bear thinking about.

“Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option.”

13 Nov 2017

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