Hopes rise for BiFab in bid for vital contract work

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Campaigners bidding to get work for BiFab’s Fife yards have noted “a change of mood” in the owners – and the company with a major contract to be placed.

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, says “tangible progress” appears to have been made to clinch a share of the Neart Na Gaoithe contract for the yards in Burntisland and Methil.

She has been in regular contact with EDF, the company with the work, and BiFab’s owners, DF Barnes.

She said: “I feel more positive that all parties are genuinely looking for ways to achieve a good outcome for BiFab and the community.

“I detect a recognition of the logical arguments presented by trade unions.

“There are still more discussions to be had.

“But I’m feeling more optimistic that a deal can be done that can bring work to the yard.”

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Forty jobs are set to be created when the Methil yard re-opens in August to complete part of the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm contract.

The Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ campaign has heaped pressure on EDF to award at least part of the upcoming £2bn Neart Na Gaoithe contract to BiFab.

It was feared the entire contract would go to Indonesia, despite the fact that the wind farm will be erected just 10 miles off the Fife coast.

Lesley added: “I was reassured by the actions DF Barnes is taking in order to win work

With further contracts coming up later this year, securing work now could be the perfect platform to then bring BiFab back into the very competitive renewables sector.

“The commitment of the employees and the community has sustained the STUC’s Ready for Renewal campaign and they deserve to be rewarded with a contract.

“BiFab is such an important strategic asset for Scotland’s long-term renewables ambitions and the knock-on effect into the supply chain is equally important if we are to develop as a global player in this growing market.

“With countries across the world waking up to the climate emergency we face, demand for renewable products will undoubtedly increase – BiFab must be there to take advantage of those future opportunities and that starts with getting work from the Neart Na Gaoithe contract.”