Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ campaign swings into action

May 22nd 2019

Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ campaign swings into action

May 22nd 2019

Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ campaign swings into action as STUC reveals that EDF energy is set to break promises on jobs for Fife as offshore wind contracts go abroad.

Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ campaign swings into action as STUC reveals that EDF energy is set to break promises on jobs for Fife as offshore wind contracts go abroad. Trade unions GMB and Unite, supported by the STUC have launched a joint campaign to force EDF Renewables, part of French owned nuclear giant EDF to make good on promises that the Neart na Goaithe (NnG ) contracts the fabrication of offshore wind turbines to Bi-Fab yards in Methil and Burnt Island.

The STUC said it understood that little of the work fabricating jackets for wind turbines would come to Fife and that it feared that contracts would be gifted to countries as far afield as Indonesia.

An alliance of workers, community groups, elected representatives and environmental campaigners have endorsed a union led campaign Fife ‘Ready for Renewal’ which aims to call EDF to account.

Last week EDF set up office in Edinburgh and boasted of 60 new jobs to be created but 20 times that number could be created in Fife if they keep promises about the project.

Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC, said last night:

“Sadly, it seems EDF are all talk.

“EDF doesn’t seem to know or care about the proud industrial history of Fife, forged by energy, from the coal mines to North Sea oil and Fife is primed to help deliver the next generation of energy in the form of renewables manufacturing through its yards in Burntisland and Methil.

“So why is EDF sub-contracting the manufacture of the NnG turbine jackets to a yard half way around the world in Indonesia?

“That’s a slap in the face for Fife and for Scotland.”

He added: “Permission for NnG has already been granted and it now requires EDF to act in good faith.

“The Scottish Government has a part stake in BiFab and appears ready to support investment in the yard providing it is able to do so within state aid rules. This means that a reliable and medium long term guarantee of work is required to allow the investment to take place.

Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary of Unite said:

“The yards here are ready and waiting to get started on work that could create jobs for over 1,000 people, unlocking much needed investment and growth for our future.

“If the bulk of the wind turbine jackets are built in yards just ten miles from the wind farm, it would mean less shipping and significantly less carbon emissions over the lifespan of the NnG project. That’s more good news for our environment and the future of the planet.

Gary Smith Scottish Secretary of GMB said:

“Fife is ‘ready for renewal’ and NnG is the opportunity we need. We have the yards, we have the skills and we have the communities ready to play their part in tackling the climate emergency.

“EDF must think again and do what’s right for Fife, for Scotland and for the environment.”

Mary Church, Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“We urgently need to build the clean energy economy in Scotland to do our fair share of tackling the climate emergency. But the new clean economy must be created in a way that ensures the benefits and costs are shared fairly, both internationally and here in Scotland.

Building turbine jackets in Indonesia for our renewable energy infrastructure means offshoring the climate-change emissions associated with manufacture, and creating significant extra emissions by shipping the turbines half way around the world.

Crucially, it also means losing the opportunity to create decent manufacturing work in Fife, that could help kick start the badly need Just Transition for workers and communities currently dependent on high carbon industries here in Scotland.

EDF should think again about the real costs of sub-contracting this work far away from the shores on which the turbines will eventually stand.”

Audrey Egan, chair of the Methil Community Council said,

“It’s not just the workforce who are affected, local businesses felt the squeeze when there’s no work at the yards too. Hotels, B&Bs and shops all made a lot of revenue from the workforce and were looking forward to this new contract.

I’d ask the EDF boss why wouldn’t Methil and Burntisland get the contract – the labour and skill set is here and waiting.”

ENDS

Fife Ready for Renewal

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