No BiFab jobs from huge offshore wind projects ‘absolute scandal’, unions say

Wind farm jackets at Bifab's Methil Yard
Wind farm jackets at Bifab's Methil Yard

The prospect of Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) receiving no work from two huge Scottish offshore wind project has been described as an “absolute scandal” by two of the country’s biggest unions.

GMB and Unite have today released a joint statement attacking developers from the Moray East Offshore Windfarm in the Moray Firth and the Kincardine Floating Offshore project near Aberdeen.

The Moray East and Kincardine projects have a total development value of around £2.8 billion and BiFab’s new Canadian owners DF Barnes have been actively pursuing contracts for both.

Last night the troubled firm discovered it had lost out to Spanish company Navantia for the assembling of five turbines at the Kincardine Offshore Floating Winfarm.

There is also widespread concern amid reports that steel construction company Smulders is understood to be leading the race for the Moray East Offshore Windfarm fabrication contract.

In a joint statement, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith and Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty said: “There is a real possibility the yards in Fife could end up with nothing from the Moray East and Kincardine projects, which would be an absolute scandal.

“We believe DF Barnes and the Scottish Government are fighting hard to secure contracts but they are trying to negotiate their way through a spaghetti bowl of vested interest groups with established supply chains of preference.

“The truth is that state funded European energy and engineering firms, backed by Far East finance and Middle East sovereign wealth funds, are carving-up thousands of jobs and billions of pounds from our renewables sector.

“To working class communities in Burntisland and Methil this doesn’t look anything like a just transition or a green jobs revolution – it looks like a future that’s heavily rigged against their hopes for employment and prosperity.

“The immediate challenge for everyone is to try and break this international stranglehold on the Scottish renewables sector and get work and investment flowing into the Fife yards.”