Government consultation

Probe launched into supply issues following BiFab row

Bifab protest

BiFab workers claim they were betrayed (pic: Terry Murden)

The UK government is launching an investigation into supply chain issues in the renewables sector on the back of the BiFab dispute.

Despite expectations that local firms would benefit from major renewables contracts, EDF and SSE which, respectively, are behind the Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen offshore wind farms have awarded contracts for all their jackets to overseas firms.

EDF’s contractor Saipem had always said at least eight would be manufactured by Scottish yards and BiFab had expected to secure contracts for its Fife and Lewis yards. But the work will be undertaken in China, UAE and Indonesia.

The UK government said today that it had previously sought views on whether the Supply Chain Plan policy could better encourage the growth of sustainable, efficient supply chains.

“The government is now proposing more detailed changes to the Supply Chain Plan policy, which are designed to increase the clarity, ambition, and measurability of developers’ commitments, and ensure that those commitments are delivered,” it said in a statement.

The consultation follows the Scottish government’s decision to withdraw a £30 million guarantee to BiFab because it said it would fall foul of state aid rules.

The decision outraged workers and opposition politicians after promises were made to local firms that Scotland could become the “Saudi Arabia” of wind, with accompanying promises on jobs.

The UK offshore wind industry had called for 60% of all capital expenses for offshore wind projects to be spent locally by 2030.

Renewables capacity boosted to help fuel electric cars

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