BiFab deal ends dispute

A potential new contract would be good news for BiFab workers. Pic: Jon Savage.
A potential new contract would be good news for BiFab workers. Pic: Jon Savage.

Fife engineering firm BiFab has settled a legal dispute with a German firm which came to light earlier this year.

EEW, one of BiFab’s co-contractors on the £2.6 billion Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, lodged a case at the Court of Session claiming that BiFab owed it money in relation to work done on the project.

But a spokesman for the Fife firm confirmed this week that the matter has now been dealt with.

He said: “The dispute with the German firm EEW has been mutually settled to each company’s satisfaction. It was resolved by the companies’ open dialogue in jointly reaching a conclusion to the interests of both companies moving forward together.”

The move comes as the contract for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, which had been securing jobs at the yards in Methil and Burntisland, comes to an end this month.

Last week there was hope of good news for the company after a Fife MSP revealed that BiFab had secured a letter of intent from a company offering the yards a potential new contract.

Claire Baker said 2-B Energy had pledged to offer the engineering firm work on a two-turbine demonstration with the possibility of extending it to nine.

Ms Baker said the news from 2-B Energy puts BiFab in a better position to keep the yards open throughout the summer.

However, the Mid Scotland and Fife MSP also called on the UK Government to ensure the contract is not scuppered by the details of a subsidy package that will only be available if the turbines are able to generate electricity by the end of September.

The Labour MSP called for the Scottish Energy Minister to join her in calling for the UK Government to extend the subsidy deadline.

She said: “It is great news for workers that BiFab has received a statement of intent from 2-B Energy. By receiving this commitment, BiFab are now in a better position to retain workers and keep the yards open throughout the summer.

“This also provides a more secure footing when it comes to bidding for the longer term projects that will be decided by the end of this year. BiFab must now be backed by the UK Government, which must be willing to offer flexibility with financial arrangements.”

She added: “We need to do all we can to ensure this contract goes ahead. I welcome the Scottish Government to join me in urging the UK Government to support BiFab and 2-B Energy with this contract.”