Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has acquired a 15 per cent stake in Fife-based Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) for £11m.
BiFab is a Scottish manufacturer of jacket substructures used to install offshore wind turbines and has recently attracted government support to develop a new manufacturing facility for offshore wind jacket substructures.
SSE’s investment will be used to further develop this facility and is expected to expand BiFab’s capabilities to a total annual capacity of up to 130 units.
Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: ‘SSE is committed to becoming a major participant in the offshore wind market… To realise our ambitions, it is essential that SSE is able to establish a reliable supply chain, particularly for those elements where manufacturing bottlenecks have already been identified as a significant risk.
‘This investment in BiFab secures a reliable supply of offshore structures for our SSE Renewables business from a manufacturer with a proven track record. It also provides our SSE Ventures business with an investment in a high-potential growth industry.’
As well as the equity investment, SSE Renewables has secured an agreement with BiFab for the supply of at least 50 jacket substructures each year to support SSE’s offshore wind developments.
This follows the awarding of offshore wind development rights as part of the Crown Estate’s Round Three and Scottish territorial waters offshore wind development programme.
John Robertson, managing director at BiFab, said: ‘This is great news for all at BiFab. We have been promoting the vision of a mass manufacturing facility in the UK since 2008.
‘It is important that the UK manufacturing industry has the infrastructure and the ability to deliver to the market. The UK Round Three licences can create huge employment opportunities for Scotland and the UK.’