Offshore wind turbine

Holyrood committee roundtable ‘first step’ in levelling renewables playing field for BiFab

Joint trade unions, Unite and GMB, will tell MSPs that Scotland needs to move with ‘pace and purpose’ on an industrial strategy if we want manufacturers like BiFab to win its share of jobs and value from billion pound offshore wind projects.

The Scottish parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work committee will hold a one-off roundtable evidence session this morning (Tuesday 23 April) on the future of BiFab and the Scottish supply chain for offshore wind.

The committee convenes after contracts for the fabrication of 100 turbine jackets and 5 floating platforms on the Moray East and Kincardine offshore wind farm projects, projects with a combined value of £2.8 billion, were won by yards in the UAE, Belgium, Spain and the north east of England.

Joining trade unions alongside MSPs will be representatives from BiFab’s owners DF Barnes and the Scottish renewables industry.

In a joint statement the Scottish secretaries of GMB and Unite, Gary Smith and Pat Rafferty, said: “The first minister has shared our concerns that manufacturers like BiFab are not operating on a level playing field and the committee roundtable should be the first step in a collaborative effort to change this.

“When the BiFab yards in Arnish and Fife were faced with closure before Christmas 2017, we said that everyone needed to come together and battle for BiFab. In doing so, we ensured the work on the Beatrice contract was completed and that new ownership for the yards was found.

“We also understood that returning the yards to full capacity would be a long and hard process, and while the returns from the Moray East and Kincardine projects are bitter pills to take, its surfaced the realities of the what we need to do if we want to compete and win major contracts.

“Undoubtedly we are playing catch up in a field of established and tough competition but if we want to ensure that Scotland gets it’s share of jobs and value from our own offshore wind projects, then we need to move with pace and purpose on an industrial strategy - starting today.”

ENDS

Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, 07976 447077, or Andrew Brady, Unite Scotland Communications, on 07810 157922.

 

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