'High-level' task force to help secure Murco future

Western Telegraph: The task force will be led by Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Nick Bourne. (5351988) The task force will be led by Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Nick Bourne. (5351988)

A “HIGH-LEVEL” task force is being set up to help secure the future of Murco Milford Haven Refinery, economy minister Edwina Hart has announced today (Friday, April 11).

The task force, led by Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Lord Nick Bourne, will look at securing the future of refinery operations in Milford Haven and safeguarding the long-term future of the 400 jobs at the plant.

Last week staff were told that a deal to sell the refinery to investment firm Greybull Capital had fallen through and management had entered a period of consultation over its future.

The other members of the task force are yet to be announced, but will include representatives from Murco, Welsh Government, UK Government, Pembrokeshire County Council, the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone Board and relevant trade unions.

Mrs Hart said: “The Murco refinery is integral to the fabric of the oil and gas infrastructure in Wales and the Welsh economy.

“The Welsh Government is fully aware of the challenges facing the refining sector and has worked 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.

“The task force will have one clear objective - to engage partners in high-level dialogue to support the company in maintaining the future of refinery operations at the site.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones met managing director Tom McKinlay and the senior management team at Murco on Monday.

Lord Bourne said: “The Murco oil refinery is a very important employer for the local economy in Pembrokeshire and for the energy sector in Wales as well as being of strategic importance to the UK as whole.

“I am very encouraged by the backing of the Welsh Government for this task force and the goodwill amongst everyone involved to ensure a positive outcome.

“I am under no illusions about the work ahead but I will be asking the task force to meet as soon as possible to explore all options for a sustainable future for the refinery.”

Preliminary talks are due to start today with the first task force meeting being set-up within days, Lord Bourne told the Western Telegraph.

He added: “First of all, we’ll be looking at any expressions of interest that there have been to see what mileage there is in those possibilities.

“I will be in listening mode initially, listening to people from the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council to see how we should proceed to secure those important jobs.

“It’s a massive challenge, but I’m always optimistic. We have got a very, very good work force at Murco. The refinery is a massive asset for Pembrokeshire and we need to make the most of those.

“This is an urgent task and we are getting to work on it straight away.”

Comments (7)

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11:51am Fri 11 Apr 14

mayday says...

I know the refinery is locally important but aren't MURCO selling the whole of their downstream business in the UK? This covers all petrol stations and storage sites too which maybe why a deal has been so difficult to reach.
I know the refinery is locally important but aren't MURCO selling the whole of their downstream business in the UK? This covers all petrol stations and storage sites too which maybe why a deal has been so difficult to reach. mayday
  • Score: 3

1:02pm Fri 11 Apr 14

ericcartman12 says...

It's the petrol stations, terminals and storage sites that make money or are on valuable land.

the refinery is currently 'loss making' which is why it is a hard sell
It's the petrol stations, terminals and storage sites that make money or are on valuable land. the refinery is currently 'loss making' which is why it is a hard sell ericcartman12
  • Score: 5

1:45pm Fri 11 Apr 14

SM1968 says...

A shame Edwina Hart didnt get her finger out last november and the folk at the refinery might be in a safer position , I quote from Reuters News Agency 3/11/13
"Officials at Murphy Oil were not immediately available for comment. The source told Reuters a last bidder was still in the running to buy the plant as a going concern although the bid was seen as having little chance of success."

Let down by Welsh assembly? discuss
A shame Edwina Hart didnt get her finger out last november and the folk at the refinery might be in a safer position , I quote from Reuters News Agency 3/11/13 "Officials at Murphy Oil were not immediately available for comment. The source told Reuters a last bidder was still in the running to buy the plant as a going concern although the bid was seen as having little chance of success." Let down by Welsh assembly? discuss SM1968
  • Score: 2

2:14pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Gogledd says...

clutching at straws!!
clutching at straws!! Gogledd
  • Score: 3

2:59pm Fri 11 Apr 14

PembrokeshireMan says...

Why would Murco want to continue to operate a refining business that loses them money? They're not a charity. A number of people working there have suggested to me that the middle of next month will be as far as they get - I hope not. Worrying times for them and their families whatever happens.

I fear the only way that the Murco site will carry on it's present form will be through government incentives (that we will never know about) that will make it worth their while. Privatise the profits, socialise the losses. Such is the way of the world.

A storage facility for their competitors over the water might be the best bet at this point. Some jobs will be better than no jobs (though you can be sure there will be plenty of managers left in work after the cull)
Why would Murco want to continue to operate a refining business that loses them money? They're not a charity. A number of people working there have suggested to me that the middle of next month will be as far as they get - I hope not. Worrying times for them and their families whatever happens. I fear the only way that the Murco site will carry on it's present form will be through government incentives (that we will never know about) that will make it worth their while. Privatise the profits, socialise the losses. Such is the way of the world. A storage facility for their competitors over the water might be the best bet at this point. Some jobs will be better than no jobs (though you can be sure there will be plenty of managers left in work after the cull) PembrokeshireMan
  • Score: 11

10:22pm Fri 11 Apr 14

chizy says...

Mmm, task force? Sounds expensive.
Mmm, task force? Sounds expensive. chizy
  • Score: 2

11:59pm Fri 11 Apr 14

power71 says...

Task Forces
We had something called the West wales task set up back in the 1990, s last recession if my memory serves me well ! based at Hobbs point in Pembroke Dock & what did they do to get industry & job in the area ? not a lot i think no jobs seemed to come to Pembrokeshire much ! again another UK / Welsh Gov Quango ( Think Tank ) we seen factories go / oil refining go now we got 1 left if Murco closes down which is sad for jobs and the area Pembrokeshire seems to have a boom & bust economy think tanks cost money and lots of it ! as Chizy mentioned who is paying for it UK taxpayers again We need jobs for our local young people not talk which is cheap
Task Forces We had something called the West wales task set up back in the 1990, s last recession if my memory serves me well ! based at Hobbs point in Pembroke Dock & what did they do to get industry & job in the area ? not a lot i think no jobs seemed to come to Pembrokeshire much ! again another UK / Welsh Gov Quango ( Think Tank ) we seen factories go / oil refining go now we got 1 left if Murco closes down which is sad for jobs and the area Pembrokeshire seems to have a boom & bust economy think tanks cost money and lots of it ! as Chizy mentioned who is paying for it UK taxpayers again We need jobs for our local young people not talk which is cheap power71
  • Score: 0

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