Scottish manufacturing firm Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) has been announced as a contractor on EDF’s £2 billion Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.
EDF subsidiary, EDF Renewables, said the fabrication firm would build a number of the foundation turbine jackets on the project.
It is understood the contract is for “at least” eight jackets, with a further contract for the manufacture of turbine pin piles, yet to be announced.
No contract has yet been signed by BiFab owner DF Barnes but the firm is “very close” to a deal, an industry insider said.
It is hoped the deal will revive BiFab’s fortunes in Scotland and create 200 jobs at the firm’s Methil yard in Fife – with further pin pile work done at the firm’s Arnish yard, on Lewis.
A spokesman for DF Barnes said: “We welcome this positive statement from EDF in relation to the NnG project and the opportunities it presents for communities in Fife and the Isle of Lewis.
“Our team is working flat out to secure new contracts that bring work to Scotland.
“We can confirm that BiFab is in final negotiations with Siapem to deliver jackets and remain hopeful of securing work on the piles.”
Italian firm Saipem has been confirmed as the main contractor for the 53-turbine project, with the agreement thought to be a nine figure deal.
Saipem said the jackets will be “partly” manufactured at a Saipem-owned yard and partly in fabrication facilities located in Scotland.
The project will be carried carried out by the crane vessel Saipem 7000.
Irish firm ESB will also take a 50% stake in the project.
The 450 megawatt (MW) project’s 54 turbines will be assembled at the Port of Dundee before being sailed to the site in the Firth of Forth.
The Scottish Government’s finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “This is positive news for the Port of Dundee, Eyemouth Harbour and BiFab in Fife, which are set to benefit from the associated jobs and investment in the local community, demonstrating the strengths and potential of our indigenous supply chain.
“The Scottish Government is actively encouraging developers to explore every possible option to help the Scottish supply chain in the development of future offshore wind projects.
“While we believe that much more is possible from across the whole sector, today’s announcement is another welcome step in the right direction.”
EDF said project servicing and maintenance will take place at the Scottish NnG operations and maintenance base where there will be 50 permanent jobs over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm – with the preferred supplier at this stage understood to be Eyemouth Harbour.
EDF Renewables UK confirmed it had increased its Edinburgh team from 44 people to over 100 people at the Atria One building in Scotland’s capital city.
Located off Scotland’s east coast, the NnG wind farm was awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD) in 2015 and will look to generate enough energy to power 375,000.
The development is planned for completion in 2023.
EDF Renewables UK chief executive Matthieu Hue added: “These are hugely important milestones for the project, and a great credit to the EDF Renewables team.
“We are excited to get work under way with our new equity partner ESB, our contractors, and all Scottish companies and stakeholders participating in the project.
“The 450 MW NnG project will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland.”