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Thread: Bi Fab is a disaster and

  1. #1
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    Bi Fab is a disaster and

    the blame lies squarely with the Scottish government. I am not blaming the SNP for this. They are in fact a minority government and the other parties should have joined forces to insist that the yard was able to quote and helped them to win the order.

    I am fed up of "investing in infrstructure" being quoted as a good way to help our country to get through economic downturns. Keynesian economics basically said that when the people were poor and unable to spend any money because they were unemployed, and bosses were not able to invest because they were trying to cut costs rather than expand, the government could borrow and spend money on big labour intensive projects. The key part of the strategy was that the money being spent was given to local suppliers and local people. The Forth Crossing was a classic example of failing to to apply this principle. The steel came from China so it actually produced employment for Chinese workers rather than Scottish/British workers in the steel industry.

    We are in the process of doing exactly the same with the off shore wind farm production facilities at BiFab. The equipment is needed but it isn't going to be made in Scotland and even the Greens and Mark Ruskell are complaining about the decision not to continue to support this enterprise. Would have even better if it had been Mike Russell!

    The Scottish Greens also accused ministers of "hiding behind state aid rules", with MSP Mark Ruskell saying: "There are plenty of examples across Europe of countries protecting their own supply chain through smart investments, so ministers cannot continue to hide behind state aid rules."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCram View Post
    the blame lies squarely with the Scottish government. I am not blaming the SNP for this. They are in fact a minority government and the other parties should have joined forces to insist that the yard was able to quote and helped them to win the order.

    I am fed up of "investing in infrstructure" being quoted as a good way to help our country to get through economic downturns. Keynesian economics basically said that when the people were poor and unable to spend any money because they were unemployed, and bosses were not able to invest because they were trying to cut costs rather than expand, the government could borrow and spend money on big labour intensive projects. The key part of the strategy was that the money being spent was given to local suppliers and local people. The Forth Crossing was a classic example of failing to to apply this principle. The steel came from China so it actually produced employment for Chinese workers rather than Scottish/British workers in the steel industry.

    We are in the process of doing exactly the same with the off shore wind farm production facilities at BiFab. The equipment is needed but it isn't going to be made in Scotland and even the Greens and Mark Ruskell are complaining about the decision not to continue to support this enterprise. Would have even better if it had been Mike Russell!

    The Scottish Greens also accused ministers of "hiding behind state aid rules", with MSP Mark Ruskell saying: "There are plenty of examples across Europe of countries protecting their own supply chain through smart investments, so ministers cannot continue to hide behind state aid rules."
    BiFab has been very uncompetitive for years so it was never a surprise that they would collapse. I remember looking at them for a major fabrication and their H&S, QA / QC and prices were all miles behind Global Engineering who won the contract. They didn't move with the times and have suffered the consequences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deeranged View Post
    BiFab has been very uncompetitive for years so it was never a surprise that they would collapse. I remember looking at them for a major fabrication and their H&S, QA / QC and prices were all miles behind Global Engineering who won the contract. They didn't move with the times and have suffered the consequences.
    Thanks Deeranged. Years ago there was a discussion about the oil industry and I found it fascinating to learn what those who actually worked in the industry thought. i had hoped that there might be some similar knowledge about the wind turbine industry. Is there any Scottish based company that could do the work if there was appropriate government support? It just seems madness to have a natural resource and then let the costs of exploiting it be paid elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCram View Post
    Thanks Deeranged. Years ago there was a discussion about the oil industry and I found it fascinating to learn what those who actually worked in the industry thought. i had hoped that there might be some similar knowledge about the wind turbine industry. Is there any Scottish based company that could do the work if there was appropriate government support? It just seems madness to have a natural resource and then let the costs of exploiting it be paid elsewhere.
    I'll give you a story about turbines.

    It's much cheaper to go abroad than it is to manufacture here in the UK, always will be. UK companies are required to achieve certain levels of quality, health, safety and environmental management and can't get away with using unskilled and poorly paid workers to complete skilled work the way companies in certain overseas areas can and do. They also can't treat employees like disposable commodities the way companies in certain areas overseas can and do. However as we all know, you get what you pay for.

    There was a major contract issued to a company in the middle east for wind turbine jackets which were manufactured; I believe on time but not sure. Customer is the Scottish government.

    On release inspection it was found that the paint scheme wasn't adequate and chunks of paint were falling from them - these things are about 200m high and I'm not sure of the coating thickness but imagine a 1/2 cm thick lump of dry paint possibly 6 inches in diameter falling from that height, could easily kill someone and the environmental considerations are just as significant.

    In order to get the coating correctly applied the jackets have been shipped to a yard in Scotland where there is currently a team of UK based operators removing the original coating and reapplying the correct coating. I don't have details of how much it cost however I'm led to believe that the cost incurred of reworking these jackets has pushed the final order cost well over what the cost would have been had the full job been completed right first time at the Scottish yard that's repairing them.

    Some great decision making right there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deeranged View Post
    I'll give you a story about turbines.

    It's much cheaper to go abroad than it is to manufacture here in the UK, always will be. UK companies are required to achieve certain levels of quality, health, safety and environmental management and can't get away with using unskilled and poorly paid workers to complete skilled work the way companies in certain overseas areas can and do. They also can't treat employees like disposable commodities the way companies in certain areas overseas can and do. However as we all know, you get what you pay for.

    There was a major contract issued to a company in the middle east for wind turbine jackets which were manufactured; I believe on time but not sure. Customer is the Scottish government.

    On release inspection it was found that the paint scheme wasn't adequate and chunks of paint were falling from them - these things are about 200m high and I'm not sure of the coating thickness but imagine a 1/2 cm thick lump of dry paint possibly 6 inches in diameter falling from that height, could easily kill someone and the environmental considerations are just as significant.

    In order to get the coating correctly applied the jackets have been shipped to a yard in Scotland where there is currently a team of UK based operators removing the original coating and reapplying the correct coating. I don't have details of how much it cost however I'm led to believe that the cost incurred of reworking these jackets has pushed the final order cost well over what the cost would have been had the full job been completed right first time at the Scottish yard that's repairing them.

    Some great decision making right there.
    I think that is exactly the point. The EU was a force for unifying standards and when we leave the EU we will be able to insist on where the work goes and the standard that we require. At least that's my hope. There is a massive benefit to Scotland if we borrow and spend the money on a project that is made in Scotland particularly if the basic materials are also made n Scotland. We have had years of best value restrictions on local authority purchasing. I hope we manage to get some Dundee inspired projects that are made in Dundee. We have undervalued hammer and spanner jobs for far too long IMO.

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    Holyrood committee looking into the situation. Too late. We need to make big changes to the way we do things in Scotland. Secrecy, hiding behind spurious arguments about protecting civil servants etc. That is exactly what is wrong. Poor management decisions, as Deeranged has pointed out will carry on being made because we are not open and fair in our dealings with each other.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deeranged View Post
    I'll give you a story about turbines.

    It's much cheaper to go abroad than it is to manufacture here in the UK, always will be. UK companies are required to achieve certain levels of quality, health, safety and environmental management and can't get away with using unskilled and poorly paid workers to complete skilled work the way companies in certain overseas areas can and do. They also can't treat employees like disposable commodities the way companies in certain areas overseas can and do. However as we all know, you get what you pay for.

    There was a major contract issued to a company in the middle east for wind turbine jackets which were manufactured; I believe on time but not sure. Customer is the Scottish government.

    On release inspection it was found that the paint scheme wasn't adequate and chunks of paint were falling from them - these things are about 200m high and I'm not sure of the coating thickness but imagine a 1/2 cm thick lump of dry paint possibly 6 inches in diameter falling from that height, could easily kill someone and the environmental considerations are just as significant.

    In order to get the coating correctly applied the jackets have been shipped to a yard in Scotland where there is currently a team of UK based operators removing the original coating and reapplying the correct coating. I don't have details of how much it cost however I'm led to believe that the cost incurred of reworking these jackets has pushed the final order cost well over what the cost would have been had the full job been completed right first time at the Scottish yard that's repairing them.

    Some great decision making right there.
    Not an isolated incident and when combined with the bull**** environmental cost, shipping from abroad isnít counted, it makes no sense.
    Indeed our companies are disadvantaged by doing things right.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmac View Post
    Not an isolated incident
    Indeed H, not by any means an isolated incident.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deeranged View Post
    Indeed H, not by any means an isolated incident.
    Glad you guys agree. What can be done to change things? I am fed up with this rules which other countries apply to their advantage farce. I am coming round to thinking that there is something deeply flawed in our British way of doing things. There's a corruption that seems to take place between the politicians we elect and the civil servants that the politicians employ. It seems to me that they work to cover each other's backs rather than working for the good of the people.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCram View Post
    Glad you guys agree. What can be done to change things? I am fed up with this rules which other countries apply to their advantage farce. I am coming round to thinking that there is something deeply flawed in our British way of doing things. There's a corruption that seems to take place between the politicians we elect and the civil servants that the politicians employ. It seems to me that they work to cover each other's backs rather than working for the good of the people.
    As it is, as it was, as it ever will be

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