BiFab administrator seeks buyer as it rules out immediate redundancies

The administrator appointed to Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) has said no redundancies are planned at this stage.

BiFab announced earlier this month it was entering administration after Scottish ministers ruled out nationalising the company, saying it would be unlawful under state aid rules to continue financially supporting the yards.

Deloitte has now been appointed as administrator and will assess the company’s prospects with a view to finding a suitable buyer.

It hopes to generate interest in BiFab from one of the industry’s larger players.

The business was rescued by the Scottish Government in 2017 and bought by Canada-based DF Barnes in 2018 but with the Government as the “primary financiers”.

A £2 billion deal for BiFab to manufacture eight wind turbine jackets at its yard in Methil, Fife, recently collapsed as about 500 staff were preparing to return to work on it.

Gavin Park, who has been appointed joint administrator along with Clare Boardman, said: “BiFab has faced tough trading conditions for several months.

“Despite the efforts of management, shareholders and stakeholders, with no immediate revenue opportunities the business has now unfortunately entered administration.

“We are reviewing the company’s assets as part of our assessment of the business’ prospects.

“There is a strong pipeline of future wind contracts and projects across the UK, including in Scottish offshore waters.”

He added: “Through its long-established expertise, which is supported by sites in Fife and on the Isle of Lewis, BiFab would be well positioned to serve these.

“We have liaised with the Scottish Government in our development of the administration strategy and hope to generate interest in BiFab from one of the industry’s larger players.

“We believe the skills of the BiFab workforce and the strategically important facilities can be utilised to take advantage of future market opportunities.”

Gaelic Holyrood speech
Gaelic Holyrood speech

The Scottish Government said it will continue to do everything in its power to support BiFab’s workers and help forge a new future for the yards in Fife and the Western Isles.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We are hopeful that a buyer willing to invest in the business will be found and we will work closely with administrators and trade unions to secure the best possible outcome for the workforce, the yards and local communities.

“We have already had requests for information from interested parties and will share these with the administrators to explore all of the options available.

“I have also contacted Saipem reiterating our commitment to BiFab’s workforce and to the contract to build foundation jackets for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) project being delivered in Scotland.”