Dutch company says payments up to date
Bifab has been paid in full for work completed on an offshore windfarm project, according to the Dutch firm being blamed for its financial woes.
Unite trade union pointed the finger at Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), claiming it was holding Fife workers to ransom.
The offshore company is currently subcontracting Bifab to produce 26 turbine jackets for the Beatrice offshore windfarm in the Moray Firth.
With a workforce of 1,400 at Burntisland, Methil and Arnish, Bifab has admitted it is in a “critical cash position” amid claims SHL has not been paying up.
However, SHL insisted this was not the case. In a statement last night, the firm said: “We estimate that 61% of the work has been completed and, as a result, have paid Bifab 61% of the project value.”
Owned by Luxembourg-incorporated company Subsea 7, SHL was awarded the main contract for the £2.6 billion offshore windfarm.
Bifab faces an uncertain future after bosses filed court papers giving notification of intent to appoint administrators.
The move gave the company a 10-day window to resolve its cashflow problems.
On Monday all but one employment agency with staff at the yard pulled its workers out amid claims there was no money to pay wages.
One disgruntled worker at the Methil yard claimed: “Seaway Heavy Lifting has only paid 20% of the job so far when it’s 70-odd percent complete.
“How they can actually get away with this is unreal. They also have history of putting company’s size of Bifab under.”
The worker accused employment agencies at the yard, with the exception of NRL, of “pulling the plug on workers”.
He added: “NRL workers are fine and also NRL is paying their workers this week and next.”
Several agencies have pulled their workers from the Bifab site.