EDF claims 'milestone'

Unions give two cheers as Scots firms secure wind farm contracts

Pat Rafferty

Pat Rafferty: ‘sending bulk of work overseas is an embarrassment’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Trade union leaders have welcomed the awarding of key contracts to Scottish firms to help build a major wind farm off the Fife coast, but say it is not enough.

The 54 turbines for the giant Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) site are being assembled at Port of Dundee, while struggling BiFab will build eight of the foundation jackets at its Methil yard.

Eyemouth Harbour has also been earmarked as a preferred supplier for maintenance work on the project, located 10 miles off the Fife coast.

The announcement came amid on-going concern that Scottish firms such as BiFab were missing out on contracts to build renewable energy projects to foreign competitors. Union leaders today expressed disappointment, saying most of the work would still be carried out overseas.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “The yards in Fife have been lying almost empty for 18 months so something is better than nothing, but it’s hardly the green jobs revolution.

“The overwhelming majority of a contract based just ten miles from the Fife coast will be delivered over 7,000 miles away in Indonesia. If our politicians can’t see the problem in that then we’ve got no chance of building a meaningful renewables manufacturing sector.”

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