Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Energy Industries Division
Sent by email: request-675101-
Our ref: 202000058749
7 August 2020
Dear G Scott
REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
Thank you for your request dated 8 July 2020 under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
“I would like to make a freedom of information request for the last ten sets of minutes
of meetings dated before the first one you sent me in foi 2020 00045872, relating to
Bifab (Burntisland Fabrications).”
Response to your request
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are
unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of
exceptions under section 30(b)(i) – free and frank provision of advice; section
30(b)(ii) – free and frank exchange of views; section 33(1)(b) – commercial interests;
and section 38(1)(b) – personal data of a third party. The reasons why these
exceptions apply are explained in the Annex A to this letter.
The information that we are able to provide is included in Annex B to this letter.
Your right to request a review
If you are unhappy with this response to your FOI request, you may ask us to carry
out an internal review of the response, by writing to Kersti Berge, Director, Energy &
Climate Change Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your review request should
explain why you are dissatisfied with this response, and should be made within 40
working days from the date when you received this letter. We will complete the
review and tell you the result, within 20 working days from the date when we receive
your review request.
If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to appeal
to the Scottish Information Commissioner. More detailed information on your appeal
rights is available on the Commissioner’s website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Unhappywiththeresponse/Appealingto
I hope you have found this response helpful.
Energy Supply Chain Policy Officer
ANNEX A – EXEMPTIONS APPLIED
Exemptions under Sections 30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advice) and 30(b)(ii)
(free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA apply to some of the information
requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to,
inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for
the purposes of deliberation.
Section 30(b)(i) recognises the need for Ministers and officials to receive advice
within a private space before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view.
Similarly, Section 30(b)(ii) recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a
private space within which to discuss issues and options with external stakeholders
before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing certain
aspects of the content of these discussions with Burntisland Fabrications Ltd
(BiFab), DF Barnes, Grant Thornton, and our Enterprise Agencies would
substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because these stakeholders
would be reluctant to provide their advice and views fully and frankly if they believe
that those views are likely to be made public. This is a particular risk when
discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue such as commercial
These exemptions are subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account
of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in
disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the
exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of
upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing
information as part of open, transparent and accountable governance, and to inform
public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and
officials to have a private space within which to communicate with appropriate
external stakeholders as part of the process of exploring and refining the
Government’s position on commercial or financial information, until the Government
as a whole can adopt a decision that is sound and likely to be effective.
This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so
that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence.
Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues
between the Scottish Government and these stakeholders, which in turn will
undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA applies to
some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of
this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the
commercial interests of BiFab and DF Barnes. Disclosing this information would be
likely to give BiFab’s competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises,
which would substantial y prejudice the company’s ability to submit competitive
tenders and could significantly harm their commercial business.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all
the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing
the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have
found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.
We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open
and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public
money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of companies that enter into contracts with the Scottish Government, thus
ensuring that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
Exemptions under Section 38(1)(b) (personal data of a third party) of FOISA applies
to some of the information requested. This exemption applies to the names of third
parties referenced throughout the documents that have been requested. The
Scottish Government has a policy of not disclosing the names of officials who are not
Senior Civil Servants, therefore the names of some Scottish Government, Scottish
Enterprise, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise officials have been redacted. The
names of BiFab and DF Barnes employees who are not BiFab board members, and
the names of our commercial advisors, have also been redacted to protect their
ANNEX B – RELEASE OF INFORMATION
Scottish Government/DF Barnes Phone Call– 6 April 2020
Minute of Meeting
Points made – general:
Jason Fudge (JF) - MacRoberts considered to be taking a [Redacted]
o Andrew Hogg (AH) reply – MacRoberts should be engaging in a
collaborative way, [Redacted]
AH reiterated that [Redacted] relies on us getting the [Redacted]
Points made in relation to specific areas
AH agreed to take JVD view back to advisors, but also asked JF/JVD to
reflect on above points
JF - MacRoberts need to clearly articulate how this would [Redacted]
JF – [Redacted]
JF acknowledged that [Redacted]
AH – purpose here is [Redacted]
JF noted that [Redacted] . Agreed to take back and discuss
AH closed off this discussion by noting [Redacted]
Actions arising from call
1. Andrew (SG) to speak to MacRoberts to ask how [Redacted]
2. SG to feedback to MacRoberts and Grant Thornton re points below –
[Redacted] articulated to TW – [Redacted] will action [unless Andy wants call
set up AH-
Scottish Government/BiFab/Grant Thornton Regular Call – 6 April 2020
Minute of Meeting
Long Term Trading Forecasts (LTTF) – Jason had a lot of input in to these;
[Redacted] – there has been no discussion between local management
(Martin Adam, [Redacted] & [Redacted]) and Jason on the [Redacted] in light
of new [Redacted] – [Redacted] sees this as something Jason needs to
engage with SG on
Revised Short Term Cash Flow (STCF) to be received by Wed – [Redacted]
[Redacted] by Monday & should have 20 days thereafter to close off any
actions on BiFab
First E&P (FEP) – dialogue between BiFab and client ongoing. FEP
understanding of BiFab’s position
Call next week to include Martin & [Redacted] for further detail on Covid
impact, FEP status update, Moray East update, etc.
Call with DF Barnes and Grant Thronton – 30 March 2020
Minute of Meeting
Grant Thornton (GT) flagged they were conscious the [Redacted] is still there
and they are currently reviewing the [Redacted] on behalf of Scottish
Government (SG). [Redacted] are now showing a [Redacted] which is
[Redacted] is put in place and there is an [Redacted]. GT/SG need to
Jason flagged there is a lot of movement so it's hard to define exactly what is
required. Especially with COVID-19 and what this means for projects and staff.
GT further flagged
the [Redacted]sent by [Redacted] are not currently taking
into account the effects of COVID-19 and the [Redacted]. How do BiFab take
into account the impacts of COVID-19? [Redacted].
Jason responded that the [Redacted]and is happy to speak with [Redacted]to
get a better understanding of where things are. There are a wide range of
possibilities that we are trying to navigate when we don’t know what wil happen
in the next few weeks never mind months.
GT understood but highlighted [Redacted]. Understands that it’s a starting point
but we need to look at it and move things [Redacted] Probably challenging
given COVID-19 and the effect this has on it. Just wanted to know if there is
anything GT should take into account in their thinking/reporting.
Jason suggested BiFab [Redacted]. Jason will work with Scott on getting to that
[Redacted]. From a project work point of view, [Redacted].
SG mentioned that we would have to take back final details from GT
[Redacted]. Keen to avoid providing anything that doesn’t have a clear
understanding and level of detail.
Jason made the point
that as soon as BiFab [Redacted].
SG stressed it’s important that evidence base and forecasts match up with your
thinking and we have an audit trail which shows Minister's clearly.
Jason agreed to work with [Redacted]on a range of possible outcomes and
send the documents by the end of the week.
Grant Thornton asked if [Redacted]
Jason responded that
based on current information it is more likely it won't be
needed and will be [Redacted].
The board meeting for 8th April is cancelled due to Covid-19 circumstance and
we will look to get a new date in the diary end of April for a virtual meeting.
1. Jason to discuss [Redacted]with [Redacted]and look at different possibilities
and send something by the end of this week.
2. Jason and Andy to discuss [Redacted].
3. Jason to circulate agenda/dial in details for board meeting.
Scottish Government officials introductory meeting with Cabinet Secretary for
Economy, Fair Work and Culture – 12 March 2020
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture
Andrew Hogg (AH)
Minute of Meeting
Actions arising from the meeting;
Prepare factual briefing for Cab Sec/Richard Leonard meeting. Focus will
likely be on industrial strategy (gone)
Update the [Redacted] (if required) and resend
Prepare a [Redacted] – to be as wide as possible eg include green hydrogen
Give consideration [Redacted]
Send copy of Clare Baker Parliamentary Question (PQ) from the prior
Pick up with JV Driver (JVD) re alternative dates for a meeting with Cab Sec
(on leave for 8 April).
A steer given to make sure [Redacted]. AH noted that [Redacted] in this – and
[Redacted]. One for further consideration
Agreement for officials to proceed with exploring and progressing with work
Other points to note
Cabinet Secretary (Cab Sec) noted that she wanted a [Redacted] for input to
this and other considerations – wants to make sure there is [Redacted] before
decisions with financial implications are made
In all our narrative – fundamental that it sets out why we are progressing a
proposed course of action
Consider how BiFab sits in the Just Transition narrative / backdrop in more
Keep Cab Sec up to date on [Redacted] as the detail develops
Scottish Government/Scottish Enterprise/Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Strategy Meeting - 24 February 2020
Actions arising from meeting and already actioned
Engage with Sean Power and re-establish frequent catch ups, for greater
visibility on his plans and upcoming meetings.
Share readouts of BiFab board meetings going forward with the group
Lead on developing Project Management Office (PMO) function and timelines
Group meetings to be established (project group), approx. monthly
Confirm when draw in other stakeholders (eg, Fife Council)
Issue comms to Martin Adam re the meeting
Points already actioned
[Redacted] to share [Redacted] [Redacted] with Scottish Government (SG)
Scottish Enterprise (SE)/Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) account
managers following up to see [Redacted]
Andrew Hogg to catch up with Jason Fudge
Points raised which may form the basis of future discussion points and/or actions
Could the Arnish yard in future be linked in to Stornoway Deep Water Port
How does BiFab explore opportunities arising from nuclear, decommissioning,
Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and hydrogen?
Does BiFab’s current [Redacted] prevent further enterprise agency support?
Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) offshore wind summit work
– who leads with follow up on this for maximum benefit for BiFab?
Has anyone looked at areas of price differential BiFab/European competitors
o SE feedback suggested some awareness, eg that BiFab typically
[Redacted] Arnish yard noted
Infrastructure group no longer meets
Repeated comments that it is not clear on [Redacted]
Clarified in discussions that [Redacted]
[Redacted] & [Redacted] in recent correspondence with both HIE & SE.
Need to consider [Redacted] as we consider.
Call with BiFab Local Management – 7 February 2020
Martin Adam – BiFab
Jason Fudge – DF Barnes
Andy Hogg – Scottish Government
[Redacted] – Scottish Government
[Redacted] – Scottish Government
[Redacted] – Scottish Government
[Redacted] – Scottish Government
Minute of Meeting:
General updates given re Canada. Jason Fudge’s new title as President of DF
Barnes (DFB) was noted
o Last piles sailed on Tuesday night.
o Given (i) more positive direction of travel of recent discussions, (ii)
number left and (iii) wish to demonstrate to market its ability to
complete its first job post-Beatrice, [Redacted]
o w/c 17th feb for commercial meeting - dialogue ongoing re getting to an
o [Redacted] JF engaging with comms on this
– sail away date of 21 March agreed with client. Mostly paint works
remaining; complete in 2nd week of March
– a lot more downmanning in next couple of weeks. Headcount of
[Redacted] by end of Feb
– SG ran through suggested names. To email to Jason and thereafter
Andy & Jason to agree how to assess/prioritise. Want to have progressed
materially prior to next board meeting.
DFB in Scotland
o Jason to be across in next few weeks; would like to meet in person to
discuss board strategy with Andy
o Next board meeting likely to be 7 / 8 April.
Offshore Wind Supply Chain Summit – 16 January 2020
Actions agreed to by attendees
Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council will instigate a short independent
review of the key actions and recommendations of the summit, including the
recommendations of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership’s Strategic
Capabilities Assessment of the foundations sector in the UK.
Crown Estate Scotland announced it will require developers to outline
supply chain commitments when applying for future offshore wind leases.
Offshore Wind Industry Council will publish a roadmap to 60% lifetime UK
content and a response to the Martin Whitmarsh Supply Chain Review
be published by the end of March 2020.
Representatives from the manufacturing sector should be included in future
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work and Minister for
Energy, Connectivity & the Islands highlighted supply chain successes since
the last summit. Both also acknowledged that current levels of local content in
offshore wind projects remain disappointing.
The Cabinet Secretary made clear that he intends on using all the levers at
his disposal to maximise Scottish content in offshore wind projects, and
introduced Simon Hodge of Crown Estate Scotland (CES) to speak. CES update
CES used the summit to announce that it will require developers to outline
supply chain commitments when applying for future offshore wind leases, with
further details to follow in the coming months through the upcoming ScotWind
CES was clear that developers would face consequences if they breach
commitments made in these statements. CES will have the power to revoke a
The Cabinet Secretary stated that CES’ announcement demonstrated how
seriously the Scottish Government (SG) takes the issue of current levels of
local content in offshore wind projects, and demonstrates progress made by
SG in addressing the issue since the last summit, within the limits of its
devolved competence. BEIS update
Declan Burke, Director (Clean Power, Strategy and Deployment) in the UK
Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS) spoke on behalf of Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy.
BEIS told the summit that the economic opportunities of decarbonisation and
growth in renewables was high on the agenda during discussions with UK
Ministers on renewable power deployment.
UK Ministerial priorities included the publication of an Energy White Paper
which, from an offshore wind perspective, would set out future ambitions for
the UK’s offshore wind capacity in the context of delivering net zero.
BEIS Indicated that a potential review of the supply chain plan process would
be included in the Contracts for Different Allocation Round 4 consultation,
which is to be published in due course. Sector update
Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) presented its vision and
goals, and explained how it interacts with the sector in Scotland.
SOWEC agreed to instigate a short independent review of the key actions and
recommendations of the summit, including the recommendations set out in
the OWGP’s review of the foundations sector in the UK.
Brian McFarlane (SOWEC co-chair) stated that this work will be led by a
senior member of the sector or Government, and sponsored by SOWEC’s co-
Jonathan Cole [attending on behalf of Offshore Wind Industry Council
(OWIC)] emphasised that its membership fully recognises and supports the
aims of the summit and stated that building a strong indigenous supply chain
has been an imperative for a long time.
OWIC stated that the methodology that is currently used by the sector to
measure UK content is not fit for purpose and does not provide an accurate
measurement. OWIC is currently examining this methodology with a view to
identify a more effective model to measure UK content.
OWIC also outlined its intention to issue a response to the Martin Whitmarsh
Supply Chain Review and a UK Content Roadmap to 60% lifetime UK content
in offshore wind projects.
Andy Macdonald presented the recommendations of the Offshore Wind
Growth Partnership’s Strategic Capability Assessment of the foundations
sector in the UK, during which it said that there is significant capacity for UK
monopile production and therefore scope for a monopile facility to be based in
Discussion / close
Trade Unions challenged developers on their efforts to bring work to Scottish
yards and emphasised the reputational cost of not awarding contracts to
There was general agreement from developers and tier 1s that there was
sufficient opportunity for the creation of a monopole foundation facility in
Scotland or elsewhere in the UK but that this would require coordinated and
collaborative efforts from industry and government.
Developers also agreed that significant investment in port infrastructure in the
UK will be necessary to bring additional contracts to Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary stated that developers and tier 1s must consider how
much importance they place on their relationship with, and their public
perception in, Scotland.
All agreed that representatives of the manufacturing sector should, where
appropriate, be involved in future discussions around increasing local content
in offshore wind projects.
List of Attendees
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair
1. Derek Mackay MSP
2. Paul Wheelhouse
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands
3. Declan Burke
4. Fiona Mettam
5. Simon Hodge
Crown Estate Scotland
6. Malcolm Rutter
7. Dean Lockhart MSP
Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee
8. Donald Mackay
EDF Energy Renewables
9. Dan Finch
10. Sophie Banham
11. Hazel Nolan
12. Jim McPhillimy
13. Rainer Broering
GE Renewable Energy
14. Audrey Maciver
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
15. Alastair Gill
16. Dr Norman Skillen
Jan De Nul
17. Mary Thorogood
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
18. Andrew MacDonald
Offshore Wind Growth Partnership
19. Jonathan Cole
Offshore Wind Industry Council
20. Andrew Jamieson
21. Jane Cooper
22. Adam Ezzamel
Red Rock Power
23. Paolo Formica
24. Andy McDonald
25. David Stevenson
26. Andrew Hogg
27. Mike Palmer
28. Brian McFarlane
Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council
29. Claire Mack
30. Jim Smith
31. Lloyd Duthie
32. David Moxham
Scottish Trades Union Congress
33. Pat Rafferty
Unite The Union
34. Ben Robinson
35. Danielle Lane
36. Allan Taylor
37. Karl John
Department for International Trade
38. Vicki Carson
39. Andrew Young
40. Claire Martin
41. Stewart Maxwell
42. Greig Liddell
Scottish Parliament Information Centre
43. Nick Sharpe
BiFab Board of Directors Meeting – 14 January 2020
[Redacted], simply the delay hasn’t had any impact on the overal
project. BiFab will undertake a lessons learnt exercise which will stand them
in good stead for the [Redacted].
Meeting with [Redacted] on 23rd January to close out the commercials.
[Redacted] due to visit methyl on 16th January to progress the [Redacted].
Suggestion that Subsea 7 have won the Seagreen installation contract, which
they may potentially [Redacted].
Concreting of Methil yard 40% complete, targeting end of March for
completion. [Redacted] & Jason to speak next week to reach a solution re
Scottish Government suggested some names for Board of Directors (BoD)and
would email to confirm these and potentially others shortly.
Next Board meeting targeted for end March/beginning of April, by which point
hopefully identified 2-3 BoD candidates and possibly secure meeting with
Cabinet Secretary and Minister meeting with Unions – 9 January 2020
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work
Minister for Energy, Connectivity & the Islands
Stewart Maxwell (Special Advisor)
Scottish Traded Union Congress (STUC)
Derek Mackay (DM) passed on Pat Rafferty’s (Unite the Union) apologies for not
being able to attend.
DM & Hazel Nolan (HN) expressed concern at the future of BiFab following the
completion of current contracts.
DM stated that BiFab were tendering from further contracts but as yet nothing
confirmed. Cabinet Secretary reaffirmed Scottish Government’s commitment to
support the company.
DM & HN stated that the developers were being critical of the fabrication sector in
Scotland/UK stating that it is no longer viable/competitive.
DM confident that further work would be secured and reinforces the message to the
developers/tier 1s that they should be supportive of the Scottish supply chain in
awarding contracts and standing by their Sector Deal commitments.
DM and Paul Wheelhouse both said they would be emphasising this point again at
the Offshore Wind Summit this week. Important that all are supportive of our
indigenous supply chain in the build out of offshore wind.
BiFab Methil Site Visit – 16 December 2019
Martin Adam gave a brief update on the Moray East pin piles contract – transfer of
piles from Arnish to Methil now complete. He anticipates that last piles will be ready
to go 21 January 2020.
Four members of staff will be retained at Arnish to maintain the kit.
It was raised by Martin that there is an opportunity for Scottish companies to
compete for contracts in Nigeria and Andy said that he would raise this point with
Scottish Development International.
Agreement that Scottish Government officials should meet with [Redacted] in
January to find out who he has been talking to and to identify individuals and
organisations he should be approaching.
Discussions with Highlands and Islands Enterprise regarding equipment upgrade at
Arnish are ongoing.
A senior project manager will start at BiFab on 20 January 2020.