Reaction has been pouring in from local and national politicans following news that the proposed sale of the Murco Milford Haven refinery has fallen through.
As reported here, news broke this morning that the sale of the Murco Milford Haven refinery to investment firm Greybull has collapsed.
It had previously been reported that the approx $500m sale had been progressing well.
Murco has now entered into a consultation period with refinery staff members about the future of the refinery.
The news has prompted reaction from across the political spectrum.
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Edwina Hart (Labour) said: “We are very disappointed by this announcement and fully recognise the impact this will have on the employees, contractors and businesses in the area. We have been working very closely with Murco over the past four years to try and secure the ongoing operation of the refinery and protect the jobs at the Milford Haven site.
"We have spoken to the senior management at Murco this morning to offer our ongoing support. The First Minister will be visiting the site at the earliest opportunity to explore all possible options to retain these valuable jobs at Milford Haven.
“We are very keen to work collaboratively with all levels of government and I have already spoken with the UK Minister for Business and Energy to discuss how we can support the employees and the company through this difficult and worrying time.”
Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies (Conservative), added: “I am extremely concerned about today’s statement regarding the Murco refinery at Milford Haven. Murco is a significant employer in Pembrokeshire and the refinery is of huge importance to the local economy. This news will be a bitter blow for Pembrokeshire and will undoubtedly leave hundreds of highly skilled jobs in our community at risk.
“I appreciate that the oil industry is facing difficult times and I very much hope that Murco are exploring all sale opportunities. However, this news is of great concern to the people of Pembrokeshire. I have now written to the First Minister of Wales, expressing my concern at this latest news and calling for support from the Welsh Government. It is crucial that we all work together to help secure the sustainability of this refinery for years to come.”
Owen Smith MP, Shadow welsh Secretary, said: “The loss of hundreds of skilled jobs would be a devastating blow to Pembrokeshire. This is terrible news for the families and communities that rely on the refinery and it is important that the company are supported by both the Welsh and UK governments in finding another buyer and securing the future of the plant.”
Paul Miller, Preseli Pembrokeshire Labour candidate and leader of the opposition on Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “After so many half steps forward in the last few months and weeks this is a distressing development for Pembrokeshire. The Murco refinery has over the years employed pretty much all of my family so I know only too well the contribution this plant makes to the local economy.
“There should be no effort spared salvaging the future of this plant, it's an absolutely critical part of Pembrokeshire's economy.”
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for South Pembrokeshire, Delyth Evans said:
“This is extremely worrying news for the workers at the plant and for Pembrokeshire as a whole. Every effort must be made to find an alternative buyer for the plant, and I call on the UK Government to step in and to work with the Welsh Government to help Murco find a way through this crisis. Pembrokeshire cannot afford to lose 400 highly skilled jobs.”
Mid and West Wales AM Rebecca Evans (Labour), said: “I have spoken to Murco this morning to reiterate my support for the workforce. They reassured me that each and every affected worker would be individually consulted with.
“I know that the First Minister has also been in touch with the company, and will be visiting at the earliest opportunity to explore all possible options to retain these jobs in Milford Haven.
“Recent weeks and months have been a rollercoaster for the workforce and the local community. We were all hoping for a successful completion to the sale.”