Deloitte to oversee BiFab administration

17 December 2020 2 min. read

Administrators from Deloitte have been formally appointed to take control of the insolvent renewables manufacturer. Burntisland Fabrications collapsed after the Scottish Government declined to support it amid the continued pandemic and recession.

Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) was formed in 2001, after a buyout by the existing management team from the former owners. Producing major fabrications for the offshore oil and gas industry from yards in Methil and Burntisland in Fife and Lewis, the firm had seen its fortunes take a turn for the worse in recent years. Canadian firm JV Driver, through its subsidiary company DF Barnes, took total control of BiFab for just £1 two years ago – and things did not improve in the following period.

BiFab finally collapsed after the Scottish Government performed a u-turn in backing the firm. Having previously agreed to underwrite a contract to have a part in the £2 billion Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project to the tune of £30 million, a re-evaluation came after BiFab in September failed to win any work on Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, the multi-billion pound Seagreen project, located just a few miles from its yards in Burntisland and Methil in Fife.

Deloitte to oversee BiFab administration

According to the Scottish press, BiFab had been operating on a skeleton staff of 30 during the pandemic, and this meant it was unable to win contracts – something which contributed to the Scottish Government to withdraw its backing. Ministers reportedly felt that providing key support for the ailing steel fabrications company would be seen as illegal state aid under European Union regulations.

Gavin Park and Clare Boardman, restructuring partners at Deloitte, have been appointed as joint administrators. No redundancies are planned at this stage, and they will now assess the prospects of BiFab with a view to finding a suitable buyer for the Scottish manufacturing company.

Park commented, “BiFab has faced tough trading conditions for several months. Despite the efforts of management, shareholders, and stakeholders, with no immediate revenue opportunities the business has now unfortunately entered administration… We are reviewing the company’s assets as part of our assessment of the business’s prospects. There is a strong pipeline of future wind contracts and projects across the UK, including in Scottish offshore waters. Through its long-established expertise, which is supported by sites in Fife and on the Isle of Lewis, BiFab would be well positioned to serve these.”