SCOTTISH and Southern Energy (SSE) last week announced a major contract for all the fabrication work for the 114 offshore wind turbines planned for the Seagreen array off the east coast of Fife.

Rather than to the currently mothballed BiFab yards in Methil and Burntisland, the work has gone, lock, stock and barrel, to China and the United Arab Emirates. Once more, Scotland is missing out on the downstream activity from major developments off shore.

This is not just a severe blow to the local economies in Methil and Burntisland, but to Scotland as a whole. To what extent did the decision-makers at SSE take account of their corporate social responsibilities; of the consequences for their carbon footprint and of the sustainability and security issues involved?

Last year the Sunday Times ran an article about SSE chair Richard Gillingwater, including the accusation he wasn’t spending enough time on the job due to “overboarding”. That is, he had other time-consuming and major jobs, including as chair of the London based-asset manager Janus Henderson where he is still in post.

In 2017 at a time of major concerns over household heating bills and single digit rises in pay for most workers, The Guardian reported that SSE awarded a staggering 72% rise in the remuneration of chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies to £2.92 million. So much for corporate social responsibility.

There are big policy questions, too. The Scottish Government needs a more ambitious strategy for the “blue economy”. We need a stronger focus on the sustainable use of ocean resources involving a wide range of offshore and some on-shore activities, including downstream activities. Jobs, investment, climate change and sustainability issues are critically involved. Operations such as those in Fife should have a key role in such a national strategy.

We don’t need to wait for independence to be a more ambitious for Scotland.

Roger Mullin is a former SNP MP and is director of Momentous Change Ltd