Bosses at Methil’s offshore fabrication facility have re-emphsised their key aims – to keep the renewable industry afloat and to win work for their yards.
BiFab chiefs in Levenmouth and Burntisland say they are trying “very, very hard” to secure new work and hopefully fend off the threat of redundancy which is looming heavily over the firm’s Scottish operations.
Bosses reaffirmed these desires after a meeting last week with local Labour politicians, who pledged to do all they could to assist the firm through this dark spell.
Around 170 employees across the company’s three Scottish facilities – two in Fife and one on the Isle of Lewis – could be facing redundancy because of a downturn in orders and the changing needs of customers.
The meeting took place between Martin Adam, BiFab operations director, and managing director John Robertson, with Lindsay Roy, MP for Glenrothes & Central Fife, Labour’s candidate for the seat, Melanie Ward, and Mid Scotland & Fife MSP, Claire Baker.
Afterwards, Mr Adam said any help was always welcome, although the nature of the business made it hard to know what good might come of it, with so much procedure bound by non-disclosure agreements.
Mr Adam said if anyone could tell BiFab leaders about anything they’d missed, they’d be grateful – “because we are chasing everything”.
Full-time staff in a variety of trades have been advised via H1 forms of potential redundancy as discussions continued with trade unions.
The firm was “pushing vigorously to try and get work”, in any way, and its approach was ‘never give up’ said Mr Adam.
“Our aspiration is the same – to get work into the yards, and we are trying very, very hard,” he added.
“We need to keep the fabrication industry alive in Fife and in Scotland. That is our core belief.”
Appealing to all political parties for support for BiFab, MP Lindsay Roy and his colleagues believed more investment was needed at the Fife Energy Park in Methil, where BiFab was pretty much the only tenant.
“The Energy Park was established with a lot of taxpayers’ money and billed very much as the jewel in the renewable energy crown,’’ he said. Claire Baker hoped to meet Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, and Scottish Enterprise, to try to raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament, while Mr Roy had contacted Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Shadow Minister Tom Greatrex.