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Deal creates jobs

BiFab yard hires 82 staff after securing wind contract

Battle for BiFab

Workers demonstrated last year to save the yards (pic: Terry Murden)


Fabrication company BiFab has hired 82 workers at its Arnish yard after new owner DF Barnes secured a contract worth up to £26.5 million as part of the Moray East Offshore Windfarm development.

The deal with by GeoSea to produce piles was announced by Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse and comes just less than a year since the government helped broker a takeover of the yards at Arnish in the Western Isles together with those at Burntisland and Methil in Fife.

Mr Wheelhouse, who was at Arnish today, said: “The award of this contract is great news for BiFab and the wider Isle of Lewis community. The Scottish Government’s continued support, and collaborative approach with DF Barnes, has helped secure, at peak, 82 good quality jobs for this yard.

“However, we have always been clear there remains hard work ahead to rebuild the pipeline of work for the business. It is essential developers and the wider supply chain look to utilise Scottish content wherever possible from the start, helping our indigenous supply chain become stronger and more competitive that is in the interests of the sector and economic impact is a key consideration as we consider future licensing opportunities and planning applications.

“A strong collaborative effort between the Scottish Government and industry is required to ensure that our vision for offshore wind in Scotland is achieved and we maintain our world leading position as innovators in this sector.”

Sean Power, vice president business development at DF Barnes, said: “This announcement is the first stage in a long process that aims to develop and secure a sustainable business.

“We have made a long term commitment to BiFab and are actively leveraging our global skills and expertise to position the company for future growth.”

Canadian firm DF Barnes, a subsidiary of J V Driver, is in discussions with the developers and contractors in relation to the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm off the Forth Estuary.

Mr. Power added: “We are really grateful for the support we have received from the trade unions, local politicians and the Scottish Government and its agencies.   

“The high quality skills amongst the local workforce on the Isle of Lewis will be critical to our long term success.

“Although we are pleased to secure this work, we are working flat out to secure additional contracts.”  

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