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Bifab among NnG wind farm contract beneficiaries

Bifab among NnG wind farm contract beneficiaries

 

Scottish companies have won key contracts to build a major wind farm off the coast of Fife.

The 54 turbines for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) site are being assembled at Port of Dundee, while engineering firm BiFab will build eight of the foundation jackets at its Methil yard.

The announcement comes amid concern about Scots companies losing out on contracts to foreign competitors.

NnG is one of Scotland's biggest renewable energy projects.

It is due to be completed in in 2023 and will provide power for 375,000 homes, with offshore construction to start in June 2020.

'Hard work'

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.

BiFab's fabrication yards were mothballed after the Scottish government bailed out the company as it struggled to win work.

EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue said the NnG project had reached a "hugely important milestone"

He told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We will continue to work very hard to maximise the potential of the project for the local supply chain in Scotland.

"We do not ignore the supply chain outside Scotland - in fact Scotland doesn't have all the skills and contractors yet to be able to bid in all aspects of wind farm construction.

"But as the growth of offshore wind continues, we certainly hope and push for Scottish companies to increase their input into offshore projects."

The eight steel foundation jackets being built by BiFab are used to anchor wind turbines to the seabed.

Mr Hue added: "The yard has been mothballed for some time and its important that the yard is able to build up the capacity and we certainly think it will allow BiFab and its owner to do that."

BBC Scotland's business and economy editor Douglas Fraser said the contract was "probably not a game-changer" for BiFab, given most of the jackets were being imported.

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, which runs Port of Dundee, said the announcement would bring "significant benefits" to Dundee and Scotland.

"Continued investment in our facilities, skills and infrastructure along with our £10m industry-leading heavy lift quayside means the Port of Dundee is well placed to deliver this prestigious offshore wind infrastructure project," he said.

Christine Bell from Eyemouth Harbour Trust said the announcement was "an exciting new chapter for the town".

Meanwhile, Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the government was pressing developers to explore "every possible option" to help Scottish companies win work to develop future offshore wind projects.

He added: "While we believe that much more is possible from across the whole sector, today's announcement is another welcome step in the right direction.

Source: BBC

Published: 28-11-2019
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