To discuss meetings BiFab future

Trade unions, the workers at Burntisland Fabrication, or BiFab, holds an emergency meeting later amid concerns about its future.

The company, which currently has more than 600 people work at the shipyards in Fife and Lewis, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

Union leaders have demanded action from the Scottish government.

Bifab said it to consider an active part in the discussion of “options” to act on it. BiFab ‘set to call in administrators’

The company has shipyards in Burntisland, Methill, and Arnish on Lewis.

It builds extensive equipment for the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as platforms for offshore wind turbines and tidal generators.’Difficult situation’

A year ago, BiFab a £secured a 100m contract for the production of 26 offshore wind turbine jackets by the Dutch company Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), which is part of the £led 2.6 bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (bowl project in the Outer Moray Firth by the energy giant SSE.

A statement of BiFab said it was “currently in a critical cash position as a result of a difficult situation over its current contracts”.

The company said that its Directors remained “confident that a solution can be reached to secure the future of the company and the workforce”.

Managing Director Martin Adam added: “We are very disappointed that we have found ourselves in the current position, which has arisen as a result of a difficult situation in terms of our current contracts, which have been providing a much needed local jobs in Scotland.

“We’re looking for a quick solution with our key stakeholders and the Scottish Executive for our current cash flow position.”

The GMB union, said 440 members on the three-Meter, that it had not been consulted. Its representatives were due to meet with BiFab management on Monday morning, and then speak for the workers.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, the GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “Any political interest in Scotland, has told us that the renewable energy jobs of the future and are not secure if you do something for the future, these meters then it will be a hammer-blow to their credibility.

“And if the company thinks interest that we sit idly by and allow the kit that our members have been building and working on to be hauled elsewhere, either on the continent or to the South, then you’ve come to another thing.

“I want people to pull together to look after the interests of the yards, and that of our members.”

The Scottish government said it would do what he could to help.

Minister for enterprise, Innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse told BBC Scotland: “It is really important that we stress for the workforce, which, as I understand it, the main contractor, the terms and conditions of the contract employee, BiFab, send your staff today and it will be business as usual.

“Clearly, the clock is ticking. We work closely with companies and their stakeholders to try and deliver a solution.”

Analysis by Douglas Fraser

BBC Scotland business and economy editor

BiFab is a success story and one of the best hopes in Scotland for the creation of jobs associated with the second wind for oil, gas and offshore renewables.

In the year 2001 by the late John Robertson, he put new life into the activities of the 1970s and 1980s, in the production of the giant North sea platforms construction Yard kept busy.

Of Burntisland, it is the massive Methil expanded the yard and took on the Arnish yard on Lewis, both of which have seen boom and bust. The industry, the order books will remain cyclical, but to help through the pooling of offshore oil and gas with renewable energies, it seemed like a good approach, also from the workflow.

The boom years earlier this decade, for the West of Shetland oil and gas fields saw Methil busy. To come up with these projects, BiFab could look to the platforms required for offshore wind arrays in the Moray Firth and the Fife coast.

The latter, called Neart na Gaoithe, has been given the green light by a Supreme court ruling last week, the decision to set up against a challenge, on the animal world.

But to create the 22,000-ton £100m deal 26 of the 84-jackets for the Beatrice project in the Moray Firth, which appears to be for delivery in April next year, to fight the source of the financial difficulties.

BiFab is a sub-contract to Seaway Heavy Lifting, which, in turn, the project for a consortium led by Perth-based energy company SSE builds, with a quarter of their funds from China.