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.

‘It was inevitable’: BiFab bosses understood to be mulling call to administrators as firm faces collapse

Sean Power, DF Barnes vice president of business development at Arnish.
Sean Power, DF Barnes vice president of business development at Arnish.

The Scottish manufacturer Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) is understood to be on the brink of collapse with bosses considering calling in administrators.

A decision by the Scottish and UK Government to remove financial support for the company has left BiFab’s Canadian owner DF Barnes with little room to manoeuvre and unable to “pursue critical solutions” for the future of the firm.

One insider, close to the newly formed BiFab Working Group announced by Scottish economy secretary Fiona Hyslop last week, described the call to administrators as “inevitable”.

They said: “This was always going to happen. BiFab are short of money and they’ve got no work to tide them over.

“I would expect the call will come this week.”

A spokesman for DF Barnes said “no decision” has been taken over whether to call in administrators.

A joint statement by the Scottish and UK Government on Tuesday claimed there was “no legal route to provide further financial support to BiFab”, citing state aid rules.

The firm has three yards in Scotland at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis, alongside sites in Methil and Burntisland in Fife.

A three-page release by DF Barnes parent company JV Driver last week accused the Scottish Government of failing to deliver the financial support it promised when it took over the company.

It claimed there was an understanding the Scottish Government would be the “primary financier” of the company – but said it has “provided less than 50%” of the financing requested.

The statement also conceded that, due to the decision to remove support, a multi-million pound deal to provide wind turbine jackets to the NnG Offshore Wind Farm project “will be lost to BiFab” along with the opportunity to create about 500 jobs.

BiFab was rescued from the brink of administration by the Scottish Government in a £34 million agreement in 2017 before being purchased by DF Barnes in April 2018, although hundreds of jobs were shed.

A loan facility of £15 million was also provided to support working capital at the firm, which at one time employed almost 1,400 staff.

GMB Union Scotland secretary Gary Smith said: “The plight of BiFab has exposed the myth of Scotland’s green jobs revolution.

“It represents our best chance of building an offshore wind manufacturing industry but instead of welcoming 500 jobs to Fife there are real concerns the business could now be put into administration.

“The workers and communities dependent on these yards have fought so hard for a future and everyone was hoping 2021 would finally be the turning point.

“Instead it looks like both Governments are on the verge of burying these hopes just in time for Christmas.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We will continue to do everything possible to support the business while recognising the need for us to remain in line with State Aid regulations.

“We have also discussed with the UK Government what support they may be able to provide.

“In doing so, the economy secretary remains in regular dialogue with MSPs, MPs and councillors who have an interest in BiFab’s yards in Fife and the Isle of Lewis.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in