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Mack and Wheelhouse under fire

Union points finger of blame as wind farm turbine jobs lost

Claire Mack

Claire Mack: accused

Union leaders have accused the Scottish Government and renewables industry of talking up the green revolution while jobs are being lost.

Fife fabrication firm BiFab has confirmed a further 16 layoffs with the wind-down of oil and gas manufacturing work and amid speculation that a vital contract for an offshore wind farm has been delayed.

GMB officials say the giant Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) project off the Forth Estuary could be held up until August. The union has laid blame at the door of the Scottish Government and Scottish Renewables.

The 54 turbines for the giant Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) site are being assembled at Port of Dundee, while 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.

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. Most of the work will be carried out overseas.

Hazel Nolan, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “The Minister for Energy [Paul Wheelhouse] and the chief executive of Scottish Renewables should hold their hands up and admit: ‘We are failing to bring the green jobs revolution to Scotland’.

“The three yards in Fife and Lewis will again be maintained by a skeleton staff by the end of February while we desperately hope for scraps of work from our own billion pound offshore wind developments.

“It’s a sad close to a week where both Mr Wheelhouse and Mrs Mack spoke about their ‘excitement’ and ‘enormous interest’ over our offshore wind sector, ignoring the distress supply chain firms currently find themselves along with the communities who need them.

“The truth is that under their respective stewardships our offshore wind sector boom has been strong for workers in countries like Indonesia, Spain and the UAE – anywhere but Scotland, frankly.”



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