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by Tom Freeman
17 April 2018
BiFab to be acquired by Canadian firm

Renewables fabrication at BiFab - Scottish Government

BiFab to be acquired by Canadian firm

A buyer has been found for under-threat fabrication firm BiFab, the Scottish Government has announced.

The company’s yards in Fife and the Western Isles will stay open after acquisition by Canadian company JV Driver, with the Scottish Government retaining a minority shareholding.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Economy Secretary Keith Brown met with executives JV Driver and its subsidiary DF Barnes in Methil before discussing the agreement with trade unions.

Sturgeon described the acquisition as a “key milestone” in securing the future of the sites.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead, and there is no magic bullet for these yards but the commitment of DF Barnes to securing a new future for the business at Burntisland, Methil and Arnish is a hugely positive step and I believe that gives BiFab the best chance of winning future contracts and securing new work.”

DF Barnes chief executive Jason Fudge said the firm was “delighted” to gain a presence in Scotland.

“Scotland has been an admired world leader in the offshore oil and gas and renewable energy sectors and we are delighted to join with the employees of BiFab and the people of Scotland to ensure the continued growth of BiFab for the benefit of all. This is a great day for us,” he said.

In a joint statement responding to this afternoon's announcement, BiFab trade union leaders Gary Smith (GMB) and Pat Rafferty (Unite) said: "Let's be clear that this would not have been possible without the determination and solidarity of the workers and their communities and of course, the continued efforts of the Scottish Government and their staff in securing this investment.

"We look forward to meeting with the new owners as soon as possible, to learn of their plans and to help secure the necessary contracts that can help deliver prosperity for Fife, Lewis and Scotland."

Speaking to the Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC), general secretary Grahame Smith said: “We are now optimistic that these highly skilled and dedicated workers now have the security that they have been denied these past months as the future of the yards hung in the balance.”

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