Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands joined senior executives from DF Barnes, owners of BiFab, at the Arnish fabrication yard, near Stornoway, this morning (Wednesday) to celebrate the first contract to be secured for the site in a year, with the creation of 82 jobs.
BiFab has been awarded a contract by GeoSea to produce piles worth up to £26.5 million as part of the Moray East Offshore Windfarm development.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands said: “The award of this contract is great news for BiFab and the wider Isle of Lewis community.
“The Scottish Government’s continued support, and collaborative approach with DF Barnes, has helped secure, at peak, 82 good quality jobs for this yard.
“However, we have always been clear there remains hard work ahead to rebuild the pipeline of work for the business.
“It is essential developers and the wider supply chain look to utilise Scottish content wherever possible from the start, helping our indigenous supply chain become stronger and more competitive that is in the interests of the sector and economic impact is a key consideration as we consider future licensing opportunities and planning applications.
“A strong collaborative effort between the Scottish Government and industry is required to ensure that our vision for offshore wind in Scotland is achieved and we maintain our world leading position as innovators in this sector.”
Sean Power, Vice President Business Development DF Barnes said: “This announcement is the first stage in a long process that aims to develop and secure a sustainable business.
“We have made a long term commitment to BiFab and are actively leveraging our global skills and expertise to position the company for future growth.
“DF Barnes is in discussions with the developers and contractors in relation to the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.”
Mr Power added: “We are really grateful for the support we have received from the trade unions, local politicians and the Scottish Government and its agencies.
“The high quality skills amongst the local workforce on the Isle of Lewis will be critical to our long term success.
“Although we are pleased to secure this work, we are working flat out to secure additional contracts.”
Responding to the news Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said: “Arnish is an important economic asset for the island and I am delighted to see it officially re-open after a period when it had no work.
“82 jobs will have a big impact on an economy the size of Lewis. It is vitally important that we get a sustainable programme of work for Arnish that keeps people in secure employment for years to come. I know that the company is very attentive to this point and is working hard to source new contracts for the BiFab yards.
“DF Barnes have shown real commitment to Arnish since their involvement. I would also like to thank the Scottish Government for the collaborative work is has undertaken since BiFab was first threatened with administration to get us to where we are today.”