BiFab - the operator of the Arnish yard on Lewis is one of the main contenders for
marine wind farm contract.
The company’s yard at Arnish has ceased production with the vast majority of staff
paid off as the island’s share of the work from the Breatrice offshore wind farm
If successful, the contract to build six foundations structures for the Kincardine
Offshore Windfarm Project could provide a lifeline for the manufacturing firm which
has an empty order book.
BiFab is up against only one other rival for the work.
An announcement may be made next month.
BiFab says it is tendering for a number of projects in renewables and oil and gas
sectors and hope to “secure further work across each of the BiFab sites and maintain
continuity of employment in the business” beyond the present Beatrice contract.
The firm highlighted securing those projects is “critical.”
GMB Scotland organiser Alan Ritchie said Scottish yards should not be struggling
given the development of renewable energy within the country.
Only three per cent of the £2.6 billion project contract was given to Scottish firms
and politicians have a responsibility to ensure more work goes to homegrown companies.
MSP Alasdair Allan said he backs a cross-party approach to the Kincardine Offshore
Windfarm Project to award the fabrication project to BiFab.
Alasdair Allan said: “I have continually highlighted the importance of Arnish to
our island economy. I am pleased that the Scottish Government remains committed to
investigating long-term solutions for the yard and is working with BiFab to identify
“I will continue to maintain regular communications with the government, stakeholders
and Bifab workers at Arnish to ensure that the yard’s long-term future remains firmly
on the agenda.”
He added: “Awarding this contract to BiFab would not only provide some short-term
certainty to the yards but it would also demonstrate a commitment to the Scottish
economy, and it would be a ringing endorsement of the talent, hard-work, dedication
and commitment of the Arnish workforce.”
In November, the Scottish Government rescued the firm from the brink of administration
by mediating in a payment dispute with the main contractor for the Beatrice wind
A £15 million loan pledge also helped BiFab through its severe cash flow problems.