A trade union has criticised the awarding of a contract for a £10 billion floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland to a Middle Eastern contractor.
The GMB Union said it was “sickening” that Dubai-based Lamprell has been contracted to provide fabrication, assembly and outfitting for Cerulean Winds’ three 1GW floating wind farms off the West of Shetland and in the Central North Sea.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Lamprell and project partner NOV Technologies.
GMB Union, which has tens of thousands of members in the energy industry, has warned that the deal could lead to yet more offshoring of UK renewables jobs.
Previously, Lamprell secured hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of contracts for renewables projects in Scotland, including Moray East, Seagreen 1 and Moray West project.
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These contracts have been and are being manufactured at Lamprell’s Hamriyah and Sharjah yards in the UAE, before being shipped to their final destinations in British waters on diesel burning barges, said the union.
Gary Cook, GMB organiser, said: “I’m disgusted by it. It sickens me to the core. These so-called ‘just transition’ jobs – where are they?
“We are losing high-value jobs in key industries that will power the future of our country. Taxpayers are subsidising these projects with green levies, and we can’t get any work in the UK.”
However, NOV and Lamprell said they would “work closely to support and develop UK local content goals and will engage together in discussions with UK supply chain and UK yards interested in participating in the projects, and able to offer suitable solutions.”
Joe Rovig, president of NOV rig technologies, said: “Lamprell’s track record in offshore wind will complement our UK and European infrastructure and personnel and we look forward to making a joint contribution towards decarbonising the UK offshore sector.”
Christopher McDonald, CEO of Lamprell, said: “Our long history in the traditional oil & gas sector has stood us in good stead for our transition into the renewables space where we have been active since 2007.
“Offshore floating wind is a natural progression for the business and represents another step in the realisation of our strategy and establishing our credentials in the UK market. We look forward to supporting NOV in the development of this transformational project for the industry and Scotland.”
The Cerulean development is one of a number of major floating wind-centred projects linked to decarbonisation of North Sea oil & gas production.
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