The UK and Scottish governments have no legal route to provide further financial support to Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), according to a joint statement from both sides. Last month, a £2 billion deal collapsed for BiFab to manufacture eight wind turbine jackets at its yards in Methil, Fife, as part of the Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) project. State aid rules for MSPs mean ministers are unable to bail out the struggling firm, with a joint working group now being formed to consider future opportunities for the renewables supply chain in Scotland. The Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said matters were not helped by the firm’s Canadian-based owner JV Driver, which acquired BiFab in April 2018 after the Scottish Government rescued the company in 2017.
Energy Voice 24th Nov 2020 read more »
Scotsman 24th Nov 2020 read more »
Scottish yards too expensive and poorly invested in, claim wind farm developers. Decades of underinvestment have left Scotland’s ports and manufacturing yards unable to compete internationally for windfarm projects, say experts. Bosses from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and EDF appeared before MSPs on Tuesday, where they described the prohibitive costs they claim prevent them from using Scottish yards like BiFab in their developments. Matthieu Hue, CEO of EDF Renewables UK, noted BiFab’s costing for providing materials for the company were 10% higher than European costs and even more so than what was being offered by companies in the Far East, like South Korea and China. Because of the CfD (contract for differences) applied to renewables developments, he added, companies need to always opt for the cheapest production cost. Richard Lyle, SNP MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill, asked Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables, why Scotland is missing out on work. Mr Smith said: “We have tried, more than most, to support the Scottish supply chain. “We invested £10 million equity in BiFab in 2011, which we effectively gave away for £1 when the company went into administration. “We put another £7 million into BiFab to stop it going into administration. We stepped in to save the Wind Towers factory earlier in the decade and kept it going until a manufacturer could buy it. “We have tried to make an impact to the supply chain but it is for manufacturers, ultimately. It seems an overly simple message but as long as we have to compete on price, we have no option but to seek out the lowest cost supplied, otherwise we do not have a project.”
Dundee Courier 24th Nov 2020 read more »
Offshore wind farm developers will forfeit their subsidy contracts if they fail to meet plans to support the British supply chain, under government proposals. The business department is looking for ways to boost the share of offshore wind projects that are made in the UK. The Times revealed on Monday that the government estimates that less than half of the £50 billion capital investment in new wind farms this decade will be spent in Britain, with most turbine parts likely to be made overseas. Under proposals published yesterday, offshore wind developers will have to set out more specific commitments in their supply chain plans, which are a prerequisite to be eligible to compete for consumer-funded subsidy contracts.
Times 25th Nov 2020 read more »