Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Minister 'optimistic' over securing BiFab contracts

The BiFab Methil yard in Fife Image copyright Getty Images

The Finance Secretary has told MSPs he is "cautiously optimistic" the BiFab fabrication yard in Fife will secure vital contracts.

With BiFab's yards in Methil and Burntisland currently mothballed, unions are campaigning to secure work on a £2bn offshore wind farm off Fife.

It is feared the contract could go to Indonesia.

Derek Mackay said he was disappointed supply chain benefits had not materialised from the wind farm.

Giving evidence to Holyrood's economy and energy committee, he said the Scottish government was now exploring legal routes that would compel companies to invest in Scotland.

BiFab, an engineering firm, builds large-scale equipment for the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as platforms for offshore wind turbines and tidal generators.

The company previously had a core workforce of 400 and a further 1,000 contractors.

It was thought that the bulk of those jobs would be saved when DF Barnes took over in April last year.

However, in November last year, BiFab suffered cash flow problems linked to a contract for the Beatrice offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth.

Now unions are hoping to secure other work in a bid to save jobs.

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