Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

BiFab contract: Former worker hopes to get his job back after major wind farm announcement

BiFab contract

A former BiFab worker hopes a major deal for the firm’s Fife yard will spark jobs joy for locals.

Derek McIldoon was one of hundreds of people laid off last year by BiFab’s former owner JW Driver after it failed to secure key wind farm contracts.

He had to sell his house in Leven and moved to a flat in Lower Methil, in the shadow of the yard where he once worked.

While he secured temporary offshore work, he wants to get back to BiFab, where he worked as a plater.

The 65-year-old had worked at the Methil yard since the ’70s, when it was known as RDL and witnessed many changes in fortune over the years.

BiFab contract

And he believes Friday’s announcement could mark the beginning of an upturn which will benefit the entire Levenmouth community.

The BiFab contract will see workers  fabricate eight wind turbine generator foundation jackets for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.

“It will bring money to the area and it will be good for the shops and the bars and things like that,” Derek said.

Administration

BiFab entered administration in December after the Scottish Government withdrew its stake in the company.

But in February it was bought from the administrators by Infrastata, which will operate under it’s Harland and Wolff subsidiary.

Derek was one of those who marched on the streets of Edinburgh during the ‘Battle for BiFab’ in 2017 and he is anxious to get back to the work he loves.

The Battle for BiFab march.

“I live right across from the yard and it’s sad to see it lying empty,” he said.

“That Canadian company did nothing for us.”

He added: “I had a house down in Leven but I had to sell it because I couldn’t afford the mortgage anymore.

“There are a lot of platers and welders I worked with now working outwith their trade.

“They’re working at Amazon and places like that. It’s a waste.

“I miss all my friends because I only saw some of them at work.”

There were 1,400 men there at one time.”

Former BiFab worker Derek McIldoon.

Derek has already sent his CV to Harland and Wolff in the hope of securing work but even if he is unsuccessful, he’s happy at the prospect of work returning.

“There were 1,400 men there at one time,” he said.

“Even if they only take 300 back just now, it’s a start.

“If I don’t get a job, I hope the rest of my friends do.”

‘Now in a very good position’

The BiFab contract comes hard on the heels of further good news for Methil.

In January, Fife company CessCon won a contract to dismantle offshore platforms and is expected to create up to 50 jobs.

Fife Council’s SNP co-leader David Alexander, who also lives in Levenmouth, hailed both contracts as great news.

David Alexander.

“With BiFab, it just shows you how quickly Harland and Wolff manage to do things,” he said.

“Compare that to the Canadian company who, in all honesty, we now know didn’t want to put any money in.

“We’re now in a very good position and it can only get better.”

He added: “In the past we’ve lived and died with one big operator but now the energy park is becoming more successful.”

Call for industrial plan

However, trade union leaders said that despite the new BiFab contract there was still a long way to go to ensure the long-term future of the industry.

Joint Trade Union secretaries Gary Smith and Pat Rafferty said: “This is a welcome development, a working yard is better than an empty yard, but it has to be the first steps in a long journey of investment and contracts for our offshore wind supply chain.

“We need to take the opportunity now to work together and set out an industrial plan for Scotland’s future.

“It’s the vital ingredient that has been missing since devolution and we can’t succeed without it.”

Hundreds of Fife jobs to be created by major wind farm contract

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]