Further jobs are set to go at Fife-based manufacturer Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) as it emerged that a potential life-saving wind farm contract for the firm could be delayed.
Sixteen staff have been handed redundancy today as work on oil and gas fabrication parts for the Niger Delta winds down.
An additional contract for eight turbine jackets on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind project – hotly-tipped to be on the cards for BiFab – is also thought to be delayed until August.
Located off Scotland’s east coast, the 53-turbine NnG wind farm is operated by EDF Renewables and will look to generate enough energy to power 375,000 homes.
Offshore construction of the wind farm is due to start in June 2020 and is planned for completion in 2023.
BiFab has shed nearly 100 staff from its Arnish yard on the Isle of Lewis over the last few months as pin pile manufacturing work for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm reached completion.
It is understood around 45 staff remain in the firm’s Methil yard, while 35 staff are still working at BiFab’s Burntisland site.
A spokesman for BiFab confirmed the current project had come to an end.
He added: “We remain confident that our ongoing negotiations will secure new contracts and deliver many more jobs.”
An EDF Renewables spokeswoman said of the said of the delay rumours to the NnG project: “We don’t comment on any speculation related to the project.”
Hazel Nolan, GMB Scotland organiser, hit out at Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse and trade body chief Claire Mack of Scottish Renewables, who she said should “hold their hands up” and admit they are failing Scotland’s renewables sector.
She added: “Another score of redundancies were confirmed at BiFab today.
“It’s a sad close to a week where both Mr Wheelhouse and Mrs Mack spoke about their ‘excitement’ and ‘enormous interest’ over our offshore wind sector, ignoring the distress supply chain firms currently find themselves along with the communities who need them.”
Paul Wheelhouse said the Scottish Government would “provide support for any staff affected by redundancy”, adding that it was “doing everything” within its devolved powers to retain and boost jobs in offshore wind in Scotland.
Claire Mack added that Scotland’s offshore wind industry “remains committed to delivering the maximum economic benefit from offshore wind to Scotland” and that she would “welcome constructive discussions with unions on doing so”.