Action group ‘dismayed’ over BiFab failure

The Arnish yard.

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The latest news on BiFab’s failure to win work from vast offshore windfarms makes it even more essential the Arnish yard is available to other users, according to campaign group Action for Arnish.

This follows the news that the bid prepared by BiFab, which owns the fabrication yard in the Isle of Lewis, to manufacture jackets for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project has been thrown into doubt.

In a statement, the group said: ‘Once again, we are utterly dismayed to learn that not even the hoped-for crumbs of the Neart na Gaoithe cake will come to Scotland, far less to Arnish. The refusal of the Scottish Government to underwrite the contract is disappointing to say the least.

‘We express solidarity and sympathy with the workforce in Fife who have again been failed badly. Even before this news, there was little expectation that any of the work would come to Arnish in the event of BiFab being successful.

‘However, this outcome reinforces our view that the whole relationship involving the Scottish Government, HIE and BiFab must come under review and the first step towards that is to have transparency over the Arnish deal.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan had arranged a meeting with Scottish Government Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP last Thursday to discuss the situation.

‘I will ask her to set out what the options now are for the yard and its workforce, as they deserve to have a future at a time when there is work to be done in Scotland’s growing renewables sector,’ he said.

The Action for Arnish statement continued: ‘There is no doubt that the Canadian company, DF Barnes, which took over BiFab at the request of the Scottish Government, feel badly let down. The promises made at that time were not delivered on and the necessary investment was not forthcoming.

‘Arnish has been a victim of this situation and is now completely marginalised without any prospect of work. It is time for complete openness about the deal with BiFab/DF Barnes and a clear statement from HIE and the Scottish Government that any firm which can bring work and investment to the yard will be welcomed rather than turned away.’

Photograph should be in 2018 Week 38 Folder (NO F38 BiFab 01)