This week a cross-party meeting will take place in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the future of Burntisland Fabrications with major energy company SSE, who own a 15% stake in BiFab.
I arranged the meeting with representatives from the Scottish Green Party, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Liberal Democrats. Attending from SSE will be their Director of Renewables, Director of Procurement, Beatrice Liaison Manger and their Public Affairs Manager.
The meeting will discuss the awarding of SSE’s upcoming Beatrice contract, which could bring much needed jobs to the region and follows a lobbying of Parliament from BiFab trade union representatives who made their case for the future of the Methil yard in November.
Securing the future of BiFab is above party politics and I am therefore encouraged that a cross party group of MSPs have joined me in campaigning for the yard’s future.It is only by working together that we will be able to save the future of the yard in Methil.
This week’s meeting with SSE is a huge step in the right direction but it won’t solve the situation. We need the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and SSE to work with us to secure the remaining jobs and possibly bring the yard back up to its previous levels of workforce.
That is why I am delighted that following the lobbying of Parliament from BiFab workers that MSPs for all parties joined with me in sending a joint letter to SSE to raise concerns over the number of job losses at BiFab, and claim that if the company is not successful in being awarded part of the upcoming Beatrice contract it will “almost certainly jeopardise the yard’s future.”
According to reports the Methil yard is “virtually deserted because of scarcity of work and is now being operated on a care and maintenance basis.” This follows job losses throughout the year after the company failed to win new orders.
The long term solution for Fife Energy Park and BiFab is complex but in the short term it is vital that BiFab is able to benefit from the SSE Beatrice contract. The importance of the yard to the local area cannot be underestimated; it brings jobs and security to local families and an already fragile Fife economy. The awarding of the Beatrice contract could bring much needed jobs to the yard and the region.
There is still a future for the yard and I am determined to play a full part in securing it.