Skip to content

More Green Jobs Farmed Out To China

September 20, 2020

By Paul Homewood 


Where did all the green jobs go?

Far, far away!





Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), whose three currently mothballed yards include the Arnish facility, near Stornoway, has failed to win any work on the £3 billion Seagreen project.

A Chinese yard has been chosen to fabricate 84 of the 114 turbine jackets for the development before shipping them to the North Sea.

The Scottish Government campaigned for BiFab to win the work, but operator SSE Renewables said the gap between BiFab’s submission and foreign rivals was “too significant to close”.

It follows the earlier award of a contract for 30 jackets for the wind farm to United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Lamprell.

Seagreen is being built 17 miles from the Angus coast and will have its operations and maintenance base in Montrose. It was hoped some of the lucrative work would come to Arnish, as well as BiFab’s yards in Burntisland and Methil.

BiFab union GMB Scotland said the Chinese contract showed Scotland’s ambitions for green jobs was failing.

GMB organiser Hazel Nolan said: “We would warn industry majors like SSE and the governments at Holyrood and Westminster that constant disappointment is now turning to growing anger.

“Communities dependent on offshore wind fabrication contracts… are being totally failed, and so is the country.

“Scraps off the table from our own offshore wind sector is bad enough, but when billion-pound fabrication contracts are wholly completed abroad and then shipped to the waters off Scotland, you know that any credible prospects for a green economic recovery are sailing by.”

BiFab’s Canadian owner, DF Barnes, said it had made its “very best efforts” in negotiations with the Seagreen project team.

A spokesman for the firm added: “We are extremely disappointed the developers have chosen to exclude Scottish yards from any fabrication contracts.

“Instead SSE, in the face of what could be one of the worst recessions in modern history, has chosen to give all of the fabrication work for one of the largest offshore wind farm projects in the world to companies in China and UAE.

“This is a missed opportunity for Scotland and a matter of deep regret to us and our partners.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the contract decision was “disappointing” and claimed the BiFab bid was competitive with others.

  1. Geoff B permalink
    September 20, 2020 2:00 pm

    The wind farms were hailed as creating green jobs for Scotland by the Scottish Parliament. Another wish of the wee krankie that has not come true.

    • September 20, 2020 5:33 pm

      13+ years of the SNP’s abject failure to attract a single major manufacturer to the country.

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 20, 2020 2:26 pm

    But Scotland has secured the job of few landfill operatives 20 years hence.

  3. Brian Smith permalink
    September 20, 2020 2:32 pm

    Here’s the United Kingdom following the rules (International Law if you like) re procurement.

    It’s very hard for UK companies to win contracts which attract the interest of international bidders. Our wage costs, energy levies, business rates and payroll taxes make it impossible for companies based in the UK to compete.

    It’s time we started adding in social costs – the area of Scotland most heavily involved in this bid is desperate for regeneration – as the French, German, Dutch and other countries in the EU do.

    If we did this the the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) calculations would change round fundamentally in favour of UK based bidders..

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 21, 2020 8:52 am

      So having high energy costs makes it hard to be competitive? Having high costs of regulation makes it hard to be competitive? Having high tax rates makes it hard to e competitive?

      Better ignore all that and give the work to them anyway on the basis that they don’t have work – but ignore that they don’t have work because of the high costs the state imposes.

      Round and round we go, never addressing the real problems but hoping that if we spin fast en8it will all work out.

  4. Chilli permalink
    September 20, 2020 2:58 pm

    Since wind turbines are complete waste of money – and the costs will be added onto our energy bills – can’t say I’m sorry to see those costs being minimised. It’s bad enough subsidising an idiotic unreliable source of power. I don’t want the additional burden of subsidising jobs for a bunch of ungrateful jocks aswell.

    • Broadlands permalink
      September 20, 2020 3:05 pm

      It is worth adding that when these turbines begin to rust or deteriorate there is no place to store (junk) them. The same is true for outdated or broken solar panels, some already leaking toxic materials. The unintended consequences of replacing renewables.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      September 20, 2020 8:52 pm

      The problem is we will have to pay their unemployment benefit instead and have nothing at all to show for it.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        September 21, 2020 8:55 am

        They don’t have jobs because the state makes it too expensive for them to have jobs. Regulation, energy, taxes, lack of skills. All state failures. The state creates unemployment then bemoans that people are unemployed and says we have to subsidise jobs for them.

  5. johnbillscott permalink
    September 20, 2020 3:02 pm

    The cost of steel will have been the major factor. China has a huge stockpile of steel which is in limbo because of anti-dumping laws and this is an easy workaround. The tonnage of steel involved is easily calculated and dumping laws applied – this would even things out a bit. The cost of Power in the UK would be another major factor – but hey we are exporting emissions so what can be wrong.

  6. matelot65 permalink
    September 20, 2020 3:25 pm

    Worth noting that if the “race to green” had been slowed, we would have been out of the EU and the Scottish Government could have subsidised the BiFab bid…. hey ho the green machine.

  7. Mad Mike permalink
    September 20, 2020 3:50 pm

    Let me get this straight. We are putting ourselves in penury to achieve a just over 1% reduction in World CO2 emissions and to do this we are paying the Chinese and others to produce goods that we could easily produce ourselves while the Chinese joyfully increase their emissions with abandon. In the meantime we are being told that we are on the cusp of a green jobs revolution.

    i remember a time when we had patriots running the country.

    • September 20, 2020 10:33 pm

      And at the end of it all the power is unpredictable, the turbines are scrapped after a fraction of the time a power station would last, and the climate is unaware of any of the nonsense.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 21, 2020 8:56 am

      No you haven’t got that straight. Ricardo showed that a couple of hundred years ago.

    • Paul H permalink
      September 21, 2020 6:54 pm

      ‘i remember a time when we had patriots running the country.’
      Wow Mike, just how old are you? I’m unaware of anyone post war who would fit that bill. Maybe Enoch, but they sure saw him off.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 20, 2020 4:09 pm

    ‘Green’ envelopes?
    What a clusterf**k!!

  9. Gerry, England permalink
    September 20, 2020 4:27 pm

    Ah, the mythical green jobs. As part of his campaign, Dementia Joe is promising millions of them but ignores all the real jobs he will destroy if – god forbid – he wins in November.

  10. Robert Christopher permalink
    September 20, 2020 4:32 pm

    The best tactics may be to have a good laugh at this waste of money and time.

    Nothing that has been tried already appears to have stopped the demoralising self-destruction of our industries, education and future prospects.

    Ridicule may not be the most glamorous response, but it might be more effective that what has been tried.

  11. markl permalink
    September 20, 2020 5:00 pm

    Green economy and Globalization are mythical narratives manufactured to make people feel good about losing jobs. Just like AGW their sole purpose is wealth redistribution.

  12. Patsy Lacey permalink
    September 20, 2020 5:24 pm

    just to echo Paul’s cryptic comment
    where did all the green jobs go? Long time passing
    where did all the green jobs go? long time ago
    where did all the green jobs go? Gone to China every one
    when will they ever learn? when will they ever learn

  13. John Peter permalink
    September 20, 2020 5:59 pm

    Patsy Lacey above – last line. Never. They need to be replaced, but not a single political party has the policies required. I thought Boris was a bit of a sceptic. What a turnaround he has performed. Anything to do with the new wife?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      September 21, 2020 7:41 am

      Wife, father & his financial backers. That’s ignoring him being lazy, mendacious & a bit thick.

      • September 21, 2020 5:46 pm

        Boris is almost certainly less thick than you. As for financial backers, more nonsense

  14. Jackington permalink
    September 20, 2020 6:15 pm

    All we get from this wind farm project is the warm glow of self righteousness that we are not emitting any carbon during the manufacture. Meanwhile stick to what we know best Drill Baby Drill!

  15. September 20, 2020 6:29 pm

    O/T an obvious rehash of the Radio4 series from 5 weeks ago
    ..which itself was an obvious rehash of Naomi Oreskes propaganda book from about 6 years ago.

    How the oil industry made us doubt climate change
    By Phoebe Keane Published 17 hours ago

  16. September 20, 2020 6:49 pm

    So much for the empty words of the green weasel supporters….. you seem to have forgotten that your marxist utopia is not here yet so all those unicorn jobs rely on contracts which must go out to tender and clearly are not guaranteed Scottish jobs. Pity someone did not have the foresight to mention that but even if someone did, given the zealots green obsession they would have been muzzled anyway.

  17. September 20, 2020 7:00 pm

    Then there’s the jackets coming from Dubai . Seems we can’t make anything in this country now.

    • September 20, 2020 11:37 pm

      The climate gangsters stopped all that Brenda. One explanation is that they are not very clever and are too lost on the warm fug of their zealotry to realize that these pointless items still have to be made somewhere and in the process liberate that nasty miracle gas of life, CO2. On the other hand there is a school of thought that sees this as part of their plan….

  18. Devoncamel permalink
    September 20, 2020 7:20 pm

    Yet another example of the UK bearing all the costs and none of the benefits.
    It’s all rather embarrassing.

    • September 20, 2020 11:39 pm

      Not embarrassing at all for the Climatologist…. who care not a jot in reality for how many people get burned when they are “saving the planet”.

  19. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 21, 2020 8:48 am

    Not entirely clear how offshore wind can have the lowest costs if it has to use more expensive contractors?

    Nor is it clear how paying more for stuff cannot lead to net job destruction?

  20. September 21, 2020 10:42 am

    It’s all so insane I can hardly bear to think about it. We already have Beatrice in the Moray Firth with 84 turbines supposedly powering up to 450,000 homes but already getting constraints payments, adjacent to Moray East (186 turbines) claiming 950,000 homes when operational and Moray West (85 turbines) 640,000 (not yet constructed). All homes throughout the UK – really? How will it all be transmitted? Miles of cabling. None of the parts will be constructed in Scotland, or even the UK. How ‘green’ is their transport to Scotland?

  21. Edward Cook permalink
    September 21, 2020 2:42 pm

    Each new windmill further drives up the cost of electricity, making Scottish manufacturing and heavy industry in particular ever more uncompetitive so that with the next round of tenders Scottish companies are at an even greater disadvantage. All the while farming out manufacturing to China powered by low cost coal. And the Unions still preach green jobs. Comedy gold.

  22. Paul H permalink
    September 21, 2020 7:09 pm

    If all these SSE customers switched suppliers SSE would think again, but why should SSE have a social conscience, they’re owned by the Spanish, a bit like “British’ Airways. Any newcomers to this site, do you still harbour thoughts that your government works for you?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: