Unions representing Fife workers at BiFab have warned that the prospect of no work coming to Fife from two major Scottish offshore renewables projects would be “an absolute scandal”.
The Moray East and Kincardine offshore wind farm projects have a total value of around £2.8 billion and BiFab’s new Canadian owners DF Barnes have been actively pursuing contracts from both.
However, the fabrication work for five platforms supporting the Kincardine project have been awarded by procurement firm Cobra Wind International to the Spanish state shipbuilders Nevantia.
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Meanwhile, the Moray East project procurement firm GeoSea DEME has awarded contracts for one hundred turbine jackets to UAE fabricators Lamprell and Belgian steel constructors Smulders.
GMB and Unite say that DF Barnes remain in negotiations to secure a portion of the fabrications work from the contracts allocated to both Smulders and Nevantia.
In a joint statement, GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith and Unite Scotland Secretary Pat Rafferty said: “There is a real possibility the yards in Fife could end up with nothing from the Moray East and Kincardine projects, which would be an absolute scandal.
“We believe DF Barnes and the Scottish Government are fighting hard to secure contracts but they are trying to negotiate their way through a spaghetti bowl of vested interest groups with established supply chains of preference.
“The truth is that state-funded European energy and engineering firms, backed by Far East finance and Middle East sovereign wealth funds, are carving-up thousands of jobs and billions of pounds from our renewables sector.
“To working class communities in Burntisland and Methil this doesn’t look anything like a just transition or a green jobs revolution – it looks like a future that’s heavily rigged against their hopes for employment and prosperity.
“The immediate challenge for everyone is to try and break this international stranglehold on the Scottish renewables sector and get work and investment flowing into the Fife yards.”
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