A Scottish company saved by an investment by Canadian firm, JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, has started work on a contract to manufacture foundations for the Moray East offshore windfarm.
Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) was awarded a contract by GeoSea to produce monopiles worth up to £26.5M (US$35M) as part of the Moray East offshore windfarm development.
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse MSP, 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 that 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.”
DF Barnes vice president business development Sean Power 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.”
DF Barnes said it is also in discussions with the developers and contractors in relation to the Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm.
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 among 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.”
In April 2018 it was announced that investment had been secured for the offshore fabrication firm and its yards at Methil and Burntisland in Fife and Arnish in the Western Isles. JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, acquired BiFab as part of an agreement brokered by the Scottish Government to support new opportunities at the yards for fabrication and construction in the marine, renewables and energy sector.
The Scottish company has a track record in the offshore wind industry including work on the Beatrice, Alpha Ventus, Gwynt y Mor and Greater Gabbard windfarms.
In November 2017, with the help of the Scottish Government an agreement was reached that lifted the threat of administration from BiFab and saw work continue on a contract for the Beatrice offshore windfarm in the UK.