BIFAB staff have been given official notification of potential redundancies, it has been confirmed.

The engineering firm, which supplies the renewable energy industry, took the step one day after union leaders warned of up to 260 losses at yards in Fife and Lewis.

The move comes just two months after the Scottish Government negotiated a deal to delay administration until the end of a contract for the Beatrice wind farm in the Cromarty Firth at the end of June.

No further work has been secured and BiFab is now working with the government, unions and Scottish Enterprise to avoid laying staff off.

Labour leader Richard Leonard said the “nationally important strategic asset” for the economy must be saved, stating: “When there’s such a large amount of public money being invested in renewable energy it’s about time we made demands that the job benefits from that investment stay in Scotland.”

BiFab said: “As we approach the end of the current project, and no further work is currently secured beyond, BiFab are going through a natural down-manning process and as such, through our statutory obligation we issue HR1 forms to notify the government of potential redundancies to permanent staff, where numbers proposed could exceed 20 employees.”

Green energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “It’s not in the renewable industry’s interests for BiFab to go down, so all angles need to be covered in attempts to safeguard these valuable jobs in Fife, on Lewis and in the wider sector across Scotland.

“If we’re to reap the rewards of a low-carbon economy, we must ensure renewables are at the heart of energy policy with a commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2040 to help drive innovation and investment.”