“Action For Arnish” Jobs Campaign Launched As Bifab Misses Out On £3 Billion Seagreen Project
Community activists, unions, local business and industry representatives have today (Thursday 24 September) launched the “Action for Arnish” campaign, after renewables supply chain firm BiFab failed to secure any work from the £3 billion Seagreen offshore wind project.
Manufacturing contracts for the project’s 114 turbine jackets, which will be located 27 miles off the coast of Angus, have instead been awarded to Fluor and Lamprell, and will be delivered exclusively at their yards in China and the UAE before being shipped to Scotland.
Campaigners have intervened to prevent the permanent closure of the publicly owned fabrication yard, demanding transparency over the leasing arrangements between BiFab’s owners DF Barnes and the Scottish Government, along with an investment and industrial strategy to allow the yard to compete for contracts across the energy sector.
The launch follows stormy exchanges in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday involving the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Fair Work over the government’s failure to deliver on previous job creation commitments for Scotland’s offshore wind sector.
GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said: “Scotland has no chance of a “green recovery” if there is no investment in the local supply chains and we continue to award renewables manufacturing contracts to the rest of the world.
“The Arnish yard has been lying mothballed for nearly a year but every turbine jacket from the Seagreen project will be manufactured in either China or the UAE, anywhere it seems but Scotland, and that’s disgraceful.
“It’s been a decade since Alex Salmond promised us the “Saudi Arabia of Renewables” and Scottish Renewables forecasted 28,000 jobs in offshore wind, yet the Cabinet Secretary told parliament yesterday that delivering jobs for the “green revolution” is dependent on independence.
“This is what political failure looks and sounds like, a decade of lies and spin at Holyrood and Westminster ending up in a constitutional blame game, and an industry body cheerleading for the rest of the world while Scottish communities are desperate for jobs.
“We warned that despair will turn to anger the longer this failure is left unchallenged. Communities failed by politics will take control of their own futures and the “Action for Arnish” campaign is a direct response to what is a renewables scandal too far.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan on 07921 885786 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
A copy of the Action For Arnish Campaign Declaration is available on request from the GMB Scotland Campaigns & Communications Department.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Fair Work responding to a Topical Question
in the Scottish Parliament about the government’s failure to deliver promised jobs in Scotland’s offshore wind sector on Tuesday, 22 September: