Unions have celebrated news that two Bi-fab yards have been bought in a nearly £1million deal.
Uncertainty has long hung over the wind turbine manufacturing yards which had aimed to help make Scotland the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’.
But today it has been confirmed that Infrastrata, who own the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, have bought the facilities in Methil in Fife and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis in a £850,000 deal.
The yards had initially been rescued by the Scottish Government in 2017 but entered administration last December with Holyrood ruling out nationalising the business.
There had been fears for hundreds of jobs at both sites after the company collapsed after a £2 billion deal subsequently collapsed to manufacture eight turbine jackets at its yard in Methil as part of the Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) project.
A statement issued today by InfraStrata reads: “InfraStrata plc has acquired assets of Burntisland Fabrication Limited from the administrators.
“The deal, worth £850,000, will be split across two tranches: £650,000 upon completion and £200,000 when substantial revenues are generated .
” These facilities will trade under the Harland and Wolff brand and represent the final fabrication piece of its UK footprint, positioning the company to fully deliver on its existing strategy quicker than it would have done with only its two existing sites: Harland & Wolff (Belfast) and Harland & Wolff (Appledore).
“InfraStrata has now fulfilled its strategic ambition to have fabrication sites across various geographical locations around the United Kingdom which delivers local and cross government support and aligns the business even closer to the UK Government’s “levelling-up” agenda and the “Green Industrial Revolution”.”
The famous yellow Harland and Wolff cranes are a landmark in the Northern Ireland capital and the yard built the doomed Titanic which sunk after hitting an iceberg.
Unite union Scotland Secretary Pat Rafferty and GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “The announcement by InfraStrata that two of the BiFab yards will be bought out of administration is welcome news.
“It is also testimony to our members and their communities who have fought hard to keep these yards alive.
“We look forward to working with the company to ensure it is primed to win contracts for the offshore wind sector, and to having a positive working relationship underpinned by the Fair Work principles.
|”We have always believed that the BiFab yards, and indeed yards and ports all over Scotland, are uniquely placed to capture the benefits of the offshore wind sector.
“However, the story so far has been one of government failure – thousands of jobs and billions of pounds have been outsourced around the world when Scottish communities should have been benefitting from these contracts.
“Now the Scottish and UK Governments have been given a reprieve and they need to step-up and support the new ownership.”
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