View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 23 February 2015

Arnish Fabrication Yard

In the days of yore, I wrote posts like this on my local blog "Arnish Lighthouse". As that became defunct in July last year, I'm moving my rants to Atlantic Lines. Enjoy.

The Arnish Fabrication Yard in Stornoway faces closure once more. Over the decade that I've followed events in our wee town, the AFY has gone from offering "3,500 jobs in the renewables industry" to being closed for months. In 2005, the proposed North Lewis Windfarm would see "the diaspora flocking back to the island", as it would bring "400 local jobs". Well, the NLW never came to be. The Eishken and Pairc Windfarms are moribund, awaiting an interconnector that nobody is prepared to commit themselves to. It will require nearly £1bn and a large number of on-shore windfarms to be made economically viable. Windfarms only, as industries developing other sources of renewable energy, wave- and tidal power, have effectively been killed off by the Scottish Government. The same Scottish Government that wants to have 20% of the Scottish energy requirement coming out of renewable energy by 2020. The same Scottish Government that put all its eggs in the basket of the oil industry, which is now going into a slump as the oil price is nosediving. And it's that slump that's threatening to close the Fabrication Yard. The revolving door is closing again. Heaven knows when it will swing open again.