ROSS-SHIRE job losses at one of Scotland’s most successful privately-owned firms were necessary to secure the company’s future, a spokesman has said.
Global Energy Group (GEG) said it had taken “really difficult decisions” to reduce its workforce in the face of continued difficult conditions in the oil and gas sector.
Ninety jobs, inlcuding around the Cromarty Firth area, are understood to have been lost in the latest round of cuts by the company, which was founded by local businessman and Ross County Football Club chairman Roy MacGregor in 2005.
This is believed to bring the total number of jobs lost to more than 500 in the past year.
The company currently employs around 3000 staff, including those at its operations in Ross-shire, Inverness, Aberdeen and around the world.
The majority of losses have been in the company’s fabrication division and following a strategic review of Global’s oil and gas sector operations.
However, work prospects have not just been affected by the downturn in the oil and gas.
Global’s Nigg Energy Park was to have been involved in work for Dounreay Tri floating wind farm just off Caithness, but the project went into administration last month after problems securing the total investment needed.
Global communications director Alastair Kennedy confirmed the company had regretfully taken the decision to make cost savings wherever possible.
“The issues surrounding the oil and gas marketplace have been well documented and many companies have had to review their position, alter their business model and restructure to ensure they are properly equipped to address the downturn in this diminished market,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Global is no different and it became apparent that we needed to reduce our cost base further.
“To this end we have made some really difficult decisions which included a further review of our extensive facilities and a further round of redundancies.
“These regrettable decisions were not taken lightly, but had to be progressed to ensure we were able to protect our companies and allow us to continue to pursue business across the multi-energy marketplace.
“We have worked closely with the workforce representatives and public agencies as we went through this change process to keep them updated on our position.
“These redundancies across both blue and white collar workers, alongside our reduction in operational facilities, reflect our current position, but provide us with the ability to react to new business as and when the marketplace recovers.”
This new business is likely to involve a greater focus on the renewables sector.
Global has also been involved in work for the MeyGen tidal power project in the Pentland Firth, and next spring Nigg will begin work on a multimillion pound contract for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), securing an estimated 100 direct and indirect jobs.
Just last month Global lodged new planning applications for its Nigg Energy Park in what it said was an attempt to “future proof” the facility and prepare it for new opportunities, with proposals including extra fabrication and assembly space and additional storage facilities.
The company has also lodged a bid for a Harbour Empowerment Order which would allow greater control over Nigg’s quayside facilities, although the move was criticised by Invergordon-based Cromarty Firth Port Authority, which has statutory responsibility for the firth.