Bi­fab wins gov­ern­ment sup­port in bid to break con­tract dead­lock

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By KATRINE BUSSEY

The Scottish Gov­ern­ment has pledged to do what­ever it can to help a strug­gling Fife en­gi­neer­ing firm af­ter “dis­puted pay­ments” sparked a fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Econ­omy sec­re­tary Keith Brown said min­is­ters would help to try and achieve a so­lu­tion at Burn­tis­land Fab­ri­ca­tions Ltd (Bi­fab).

Bi­fab said it had been left fac­ing a “crit­i­cal cash po­si­tion” as a re­sult of on­go­ing con­tracts. The firm has filed a no­tice of its in­ten­tion to ap­point ad­min­is­tra­tors.

Staff have voted to con­tinue work­ing un­til fur­ther no­tice de­spite the risk of not get­ting paid. Bi­fab, which makes equip­ment for both the oil and gas in­dus­try and the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor, di­rectly em­ploys about 600 peo­ple at its yards in Burn­tis­land and Methil in Fife and Ar­nish on the Isle of Lewis.

Asked what the Scottish Gov­ern­ment was do­ing to help, Mr Brown said: “This is a con­tract be­tween pri­vate com­pa­nies and the is­sues that have arisen have been be­tween those pri­vate com­pa­nies, but of course we are very in­ter­ested and want to do what we can to help to try to achieve a so­lu­tion.”

Unions claimed the en­gi­neer­ing firm’s fi­nan­cial diffi- cul­ties were a di­rect re­sult of the main Dutch-owned con­trac­tor, Se­away Heavy Lift­ing (SHL), not pay­ing the com­pany for con­tract work al­ready com­pleted.

GMB Scot­land sec­re­tary Gary Smith called on the gov­ern­ment to act quickly to get to the root of the con­trac­tual dis­pute.

Mid Scot­land and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell urged min­is­ters to speak with the Dutch gov­ern­ment about SHL in ef­forts to find a way through the im­passe.

“All an­gles need to be cov­ered in at­tempts to safe­guard th­ese valu­able jobs,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.