STRUGGLING engineering firm BiFab entered administration yesterday, with owners DF Barnes blaming the Scottish Government for the collapse.

But ministers said they had done as much as they could without breaching strict state aid rules. BiFab, which has yards in Fife and on Lewis, had to be rescued by the Scottish Government in 2017. It was then sold a year later to Canadian firm DF Barnes. The firm had been preparing to put up to 500 employees back to work on a wind turbine scheme when it emerged ministers could no longer provide financial support.

A £2 billion deal subsequently collapsed to manufacture eight turbine jackets at its yard in Methil as part of the Neart Na Gaoithe project.

A statement from the company said: “BiFab can confirm that the board has agreed to place the company in administration following the Scottish Government’s decision to remove contract assurances. However the absence of supply chain protections in Scotland and the wider UK have consistently undermined our ability to compete with government-owned and government-supported yards outside and inside the European Union.

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“We would urge the Scottish and UK governments to address these structural challenges as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that the benefits of offshore renewables are shared more widely with communities across the country.”

The Scottish Government said shareholder JV Driver has failed to provide necessary requirements for the firm to secure new contracts.

When asked about BiFab Nicola Sturgeon said: “I deeply regret and I’m deeply disappointed by this morning’s developments.

“We were not able legally to provide the additional support that BiFab was seeking. Had the majority shareholder been prepared to invest that may have been different.

“We will now work with administrators, trade unions, and others to try and secure a positive future for BiFab – that’s what we’ve always been committed to.”

The GMB Scotland and Unite Scotland said the firm’s collapse exposed “the myth of Scotland’s renewables revolution, as well as a decade of political hypocrisy and failure in Scotland and the rest of the UK”.

Scottish Labour economy spokesperson Alex Rowley said: “This terrible news will come as a hammer blow to workers across Scotland and exposes the fraud that is the SNP’s claims of a renewables revolution.”

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “It is completely unacceptable for ministers to continue to blame legal advice on state-aid rules when we see a number of other European countries with state-supported supply chains. This has come about because both the UK and Scottish governments lack the political will to protect jobs and commit to the renewables revolution Scotland can deliver.”