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Search on for apprentices after new Fife company’s wind farm win

Bifab Methil Yard pictured in 2018.
Bifab Methil Yard pictured in 2018.

The new owner of BiFab’s Methil yard has launched an apprenticeship scheme following its major wind farm contract win.

Infrastrata acquired BiFab’s Methil and Arnish yards from administrators in February. It signed a contract this month to fabricate eight wind turbine jackets for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm.

A computer generated image of NnG Jackets on the cargo barges at Methil.

It will operate in Methil under its Harland & Wolff brand, famous for building the Titanic.

The apprenticeship scheme will run across Harland & Wolff sites in Appledore, Arnish, Belfast and Methil.

Applications are now open with the first intake will arrive on site in September 2021.

Transferring skills

Kelly O’Rourke, group director of human resources, said: “This scheme offers the opportunity to build a career in a number of industry areas.

“Our apprentices will work alongside our highly experienced workforce, transferring valuable skills to the next generation.

The S7000, Saipem’s semi-submersible crane vessel, recently arrived off the coast of Fife to start work on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.

“We are aiming to recruit from local communities and those from a wide range of backgrounds and talents as we seek to develop a diverse workforce.”

The contract to fabricate jackets for the NnG wind farm will create hundreds of Fife jobs.

The contract is worth £26 million and will get underway in July. It is estimated the work will create around 290 direct and indirect Scottish jobs.

Impressive facilities

Harland & Wolff has an impressive range of facilities.

Its Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities. It has deep water access, two of Europe’s largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls.

It acquired Appledore in August to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets.

BiFab financial support
The former BiFab yard in Methil.

The former BiFab sites will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, oil and gas and defence sectors.

In addition to Harland & Wolff, Infrastrata owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity.

The Port of Dundee is playing a major part in the NnG project. All 54 turbines will be assembled there. It has led to a £40m investment in the port.

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