Production Problems, Cost Overruns Behind BiFab Crisis

BiFab site in Methil; Image source: BiFab/ archive

Production problems and cost overruns related to the Beatrice jacket foundations order are at the root of financial issues that the Scottish company BiFab is currently facing, resulting in its staff coming to work as usual despite the company having no money to pay their wages, just so the Beatrice order placed by Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) could be kept at BiFab.

On the evening of 13 November, SHL issued a statement saying it has been working with BiFab for many months to support them as they address their production problems and cost overruns, pointing out that SHL’s payments to BiFab are being made as agreed under the contract.

We have continued to pay the company on time and in line with our contract. We expect the shareholders of BiFab to stand behind the performance of the company. SHL has always been keen to support BiFab’s workforce but we need BiFab’s shareholders to provide it with the financial stability it requires.” – Seaway Heavy Lifting stated.

SHL added that its priority is to ensure that Beatrice Offshore Wind Ltd (BOWL), the developer of the 588MW offshore wind farm in Scotland, has the jackets in place ready to unlock the next phase of the project. “We remain committed to working with all stakeholders to find a solution that delivers the Beatrice Project to BOWL on schedule,” SHL said.

After being contacted for a comment on the BiFab matter on 13 November, a BOWL spokesperson said in a statement: “BOWL fully expects construction activities will continue on schedule, with all jackets installed by August 2018 and the project fully operational by around March 2019.”

Meanwhile, SHL’s vessel Stanislav Yudin has installed almost all foundation piles sets at the project site and Oleg Strashov will soon start with the second jacket foundation installation campaign, after installing 24 within the first one.

BiFab is manufacturing 26 jackets for the 84-turbine wind farm, delivered in two campaigns, with ten of the jacket foundations being delivered now, and the remaining 16 scheduled to be completed and delivered in April 2018.

The remaining jackets are being manufactured by Bladt (30) and Smulders (28).

Offshore WIND Staff

Photo: BiFab site in Methil; Image source: BiFab/ archive

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