UKEF Helps BiFab Meet Beatrice OWF Terms of Contract

UK Export Finance (UKEF) yesterday informed that it had helped BurntIsland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) access finance to meet the terms of the contract for the Beatrice offshore wind farm, awarded to the UK steel structures fabricator by Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) in June 2016.

Illustration (Image: BiFab)

As part of the terms of the contract for the supply of 26 wind turbine jacket substructures, worth in excess of GBP 100 million, the buyer required performance and warranty bonds from BiFab’s bank, RBS. Due to the size of the contract, the bond requirements were significant, and the bank required additional security in order to issue the bonds.

Jon Boyce, UKEF’s Senior Export Finance Manager for the Devolved Regions, worked with BiFab to provide a solution. RBS was able to issue the bonds to the overseas buyer while UKEF provided the bank with a UK government-backed guarantee, meaning that BiFab was able to hold back cash to use to fulfil the contract.

“BiFab is a strategically important company in the east of Scotland and is a major employer within the local community. UK Export Finance is delighted to have helped it succeed with this large contract and provide the bank with the additional security required to issue the performance bonds,” Boyce said.

John Robertson, Managing Director at BiFab, said: “This contract gave us a valuable opportunity to be part of a major renewable energy infrastructure project, as well as a significant boost to our revenue at a difficult time due to the low level of activity within the oil and gas sector. Working with UK Export Finance meant that we were able to realise this opportunity.”

Ten of the jacket substructures will be ready for delivery in August 2017, with the remaining sixteen are scheduled to be completed and delivered in April 2018.

Beatrice is located in the Outer Moray Firth, approximately 13 km off the Caithness coastline. The wind farm will consist of 84 Siemens 7MW turbines.