BiFab awarded £100 million contract

The contract will help to protect jobs at BiFab
The contract will help to protect jobs at BiFab
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Fife firm Burntisland Fabrications LTD (BiFab) has been awarded a new £100 million contract, protecting 200 jobs.

The contract is to supply 26 WTG jacket substructures for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Development in the Moray Firth.

The development site will cover an approximate area of up to 130km and will consist of 84 WTG Jacket Substructures for turbines with a projected

total capacity 588 MW.

The fabrication contract, which was awarded to BiFab by the EPCI Contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting, is due for delivery in two campaigns – 10 off structures ready for delivery August 2017 and 16 off structures ready for delivery April 2018.

A further 30 jackets will be delivered by Danish firm Bladt.

The BiFab proposal for delivering the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Project is based on utilising a percentage of capacity at all three BiFab facilities at Arnish and Burntisland, with final assembly and loadout from the BiFab Methil facility.

John Robertson, BiFab managing director said: “We are delighted that BiFab has been selected as part of the supply chain for this major UK Infrastructure project.

“BiFab manufactured the two Beatrice demonstrators in 2006, and we have been monitoring closely the development of the Beatrice Project over the last 10 years.

“We are very pleased that SSE and their partners are moving forward with the full development of the Beatrice Project.”

He added: “The BiFab scope is based on 26 off structures. This is 22,500 tonnes of steel fabrication which is a major project award for the BiFab management team and workforce, giving the company a base load of work through to April 2018.

“The award of this project compliments and strengthens our ambition to set up one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities for the supply of substructures for the offshore wind industry. The BiFab facilities can produce over 80 jacket substructures per year.”

Mr Robertson said work on the project would start immediately, and although the company already has a workforce of around 500 working on a number of projects, including 37 apprentices, they hoped there would be scope to increase that number early next year, with with approximately 10 additional apprentices joining the company.

He said: “Our management team and workforce have been working extremely hard to win the Beatrice Project contract and its award demonstrates a high level of confidence by Seaway Heavy Lifting in what BiFab can offer.”

The news has been welcomed by both the Scottish Government and Fife Council.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “I am delighted that, yet another key Scottish supply chain company, BiFab, has also secured a contract resulting from the 588MW Beatrice Offshore Windfarm - a windfarm that will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 450,000 homes.

“By winning this £100m contract to provide 26 jacket substructures, BiFab will be able to cement their position as a key supplier to a new offshore wind industry and utilise their facilities in Fife and in the Western Isles to further spread, across Scotland, the economic benefits arising from this exciting, £2.6Bn offshore wind development.”

Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s depute leader and executive spokesman for Economy and Planning, said: “This announcement is great news for BiFab, the workforce and the people in Fife.

“We are delighted to see that BiFab will be at the forefront in the construction of this wind farm, with activity both at Burntisland and also at the Energy Park Fife in Methil.

“Fife Council continues to work with BiFab and recognises the huge amount of dedicated work they have put in to achieve this contract.

“This latest development is significant for the UK’s renewables sector, and reinforces Fife’s position on the world stage for renewables.

“BiFab’s achievements show that Fife has a first class engineering skills-base, world leading facilities and that investing in the region can reap real business benefits. Its success story sends a strong message to other national and international companies that Fife has a lot to offer.

“We will continue to work closely with BiFab through Opportunities Fife in supporting their apprentice programme through the Fife Youth Job Contract.”

Claire Baker MSP added: “This is fantastic news for the yard and for all the workers at BiFab.

“This contract can help secure hundreds of jobs at the yard and I am delighted that the campaign to lobby the Scottish Government and SSE has been successful.

“The Levenmouth economy has been facing a tough time in the past few years and news of this contract coming to Methil is a huge boost for the local area.

“I hope this contract can be the catalyst that helps grow not just BiFab but the whole local economy.”

Charlotte Wright, director of business and sector development at the HiE, said: “This further demonstrates the region’s capability to support the offshore wind sector and the BOWL project specifically. BiFab with its skilled workforce at Arnish is in an excellent position to deliver part of this major contract and today’s announcement will be welcomed in the Outer Hebrides, positioning it as key player in the offshore wind supply chain.”