Hundreds of jobs under threat as Milford Haven refinery sale deal collapses

Western Telegraph: Hundreds of jobs under threat as Milford Haven refinery sale deal collapses Hundreds of jobs under threat as Milford Haven refinery sale deal collapses

A deal to buy the Murco Milford Haven refinery has collapsed, putting hundreds of Pembrokeshire jobs at risk.

Milford Haven Refinery staff have been informed of the developments this morning (Thursday).

It had previously been reported that a $500m deal involving investment firm Greybull Capital was close to being completed but that deal has fallen through.

A source close to the deal told the Western Telegraph: “Up until 48 hours ago it was looking very positive but it went sour, the deal just couldn’t be done.”

Around 400 people are employed at the refinery.

In a statement, Murco Petroleum Limited said it will be entering into a period of consultation with employees, and their representatives, as to the future of the company and its Milford Haven refinery.

The statement said: “UK refining remains a particularly challenging market, caused in part by declining demand and increased international competition. The UK currently has seven oil refineries down from a peak of 18 in the late 70s. It is against this backdrop that the company and Murphy have been working to try and find a solution that would allow refinery operations to continue at Milford Haven.

“During the past three plus years Murphy has negotiated with numerous parties but has not yet been able to find a buyer for Murco. Following the expiration of exclusive talks with a potential buyer, Murphy and the company plan to speak with a small number of interested parties, which may or may not lead to allowing the refinery to continue to operate.

“Murco is therefore today entering into a period of consultation with employees and their representatives, including the employees that work at the refinery. Until this period is completed it is not possible to predict the outcome of this process. In the interim we will ensure we properly consult with our employees during what will understandably be an unsettling time for everyone concerned."

Tom McKinlay, Managing Director of Murco said: "Our focus today is on helping our people understand what this means for them. For over three years, we have left no stone unturned in trying to find a buyer for the plant. Our efforts highlight the challenges and on-going changes confronting the European refining industry and are in no way a reflection on the attitude and work ethic of the Murco team. We will continue to do all we can to ensure our employees are supported during this time.”

Responding to the news this morning, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, told the Western Telegraph that the collapse of the deal was “a hammer blow for Pembrokeshire and the wider West Wales economy.”

Mr Crabb added: “Hundreds of skilled, high quality jobs in our community are now at risk. Pembrokeshire has seen refinery closures before and we know the short-term impact can be colossal."

Mr Crabb said it was now essential that another potential buyer be contacted to see if a sale could be salvaged.

The Wales Office Minister said: "If Murphy Oil cannot do the deal with Greybull then it must explore all possible alternative sale options as a matter of urgency.

“I have met with one other buyer on two occasions now who so far has been locked out of the sale process because of the exclusive negotiations with Greybull. The time has come for Murphy to speak to this company about what their intentions would be.”

"I have had an urgent meeting with the Energy Minister Michael Fallon, and have asked that he and his department work closely now with Welsh Government to offer every possible support to avoid the worst outcome of full refinery closure. Everyone understands the seriousness of the situation and what this means for Pembrokeshire."

"The staff and management at Murco in Milford Haven have worked incredibly hard over the last three years to turn the plant around and create one of the leanest and most efficient refineries in the country. Their commitment and effort has been hugely impressive and it is a very sad day for them and their families to be told that the sale has collapsed."

Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said: "The Government very much regrets to hear the developments at the Murco Petroleum refinery in Milford Haven, and the potential impact this may have on its employees, their families and the community.

“The Wales Office is in close contact with colleagues at the Department of Energy& Climate Change, the Welsh Government and with officials at Murco Petroleum Ltd on this matter. We stand ready to support Murco in their ongoing efforts to find a buyer, with a view to securing the future of the plant, and the jobs of the people who work directly and indirectly for it."

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Jamie Adams, said: “I am sorry to hear that the sale of the refinery has fallen through.

“We hope that it will continue to operate as a refinery as that will save the jobs of both refinery staff and of the many local sub-contractors who work there.

“The County Council and the Welsh Government will continue to support Murco as they look for an alternative buyer.

“Ideally we would want a viable, sustainable purchaser to come forward from within the industry who could guarantee the future of oil refining at the site.”

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12:36pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Maxboycey says...

Why, once again, are Murco Employees only finding out about this latest piece of news via the media and not via the people that employ them -Murco? Why is it in the media first and employees second!?
Why, once again, are Murco Employees only finding out about this latest piece of news via the media and not via the people that employ them -Murco? Why is it in the media first and employees second!? Maxboycey
  • Score: 19

1:35pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Gogledd says...

All very sad and the plonkers in Govt think that the economy is booming and on the up.....dream on...
All very sad and the plonkers in Govt think that the economy is booming and on the up.....dream on... Gogledd
  • Score: -2

2:04pm Thu 3 Apr 14

power71 says...

It will be sad to see more UK jobs go & Welsh Jobs we used have four refineries on the Haven now we may have one soon .
The Government think the economy is booming it may be is South east & London area ! but not here is Wales Pembrokeshire is a lovely county but there is no decent well paid jobs in the area .
Job losses are not acceptable & local council & Government should do something instead of just talking which is cheap we can ill afford to lose jobs in these area
It will be sad to see more UK jobs go & Welsh Jobs we used have four refineries on the Haven now we may have one soon . The Government think the economy is booming it may be is South east & London area ! but not here is Wales Pembrokeshire is a lovely county but there is no decent well paid jobs in the area . Job losses are not acceptable & local council & Government should do something instead of just talking which is cheap we can ill afford to lose jobs in these area power71
  • Score: 7

8:27am Fri 4 Apr 14

neil p says...

I regularly work in Europe and around the UK.
If the refinery were to close, hopefully many workers may be able to be employed abroad, in the North Sea or the rest of the UK.

Because of the propensity of public sector work in Wales unfortunately people are blinkered into thinking that the UK government or welsh assembly government can help, this will not happen, like it or not, Murphy do not have any obligation to the local economy only their shareholders.
I'm sure they wont be all that concerned if Pembrokeshire bears a grudge against them but they save £15 million a year.

There is a vast army of world class oil industry workers from Pembrokeshire currently working on projects in the Shetlands, Grangemouth, Grimsby and Blackpool, many regulars in the North sea, others in Norway, Africa the Middle East and Australia.

They continue to call Pembrokeshire home but know that working here regularly is not going to happen again.

The thing they want the most is to be able to fly out of Haverfordwest on a regular flight to London for connections around the UK and abroad. This would enable them to stay living in Pembs and spend their hard earned wages in the local economy, this would also help the influx of visitors to the county that looks like we are going to be dependant on.

This is where the government and WAG could help to sort out a regular service from withybush.
Previous issues for development have been that the county show is held there, but should the worse happen, we may have a vast swathe of land near Milford haven that would be perfect for the development of a purpose built county showground.
I regularly work in Europe and around the UK. If the refinery were to close, hopefully many workers may be able to be employed abroad, in the North Sea or the rest of the UK. Because of the propensity of public sector work in Wales unfortunately people are blinkered into thinking that the UK government or welsh assembly government can help, this will not happen, like it or not, Murphy do not have any obligation to the local economy only their shareholders. I'm sure they wont be all that concerned if Pembrokeshire bears a grudge against them but they save £15 million a year. There is a vast army of world class oil industry workers from Pembrokeshire currently working on projects in the Shetlands, Grangemouth, Grimsby and Blackpool, many regulars in the North sea, others in Norway, Africa the Middle East and Australia. They continue to call Pembrokeshire home but know that working here regularly is not going to happen again. The thing they want the most is to be able to fly out of Haverfordwest on a regular flight to London for connections around the UK and abroad. This would enable them to stay living in Pembs and spend their hard earned wages in the local economy, this would also help the influx of visitors to the county that looks like we are going to be dependant on. This is where the government and WAG could help to sort out a regular service from withybush. Previous issues for development have been that the county show is held there, but should the worse happen, we may have a vast swathe of land near Milford haven that would be perfect for the development of a purpose built county showground. neil p
  • Score: 15

8:29am Fri 4 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

Perhaps Bryn and Jamie could help out?

They must have a few million sloshing around somewhere, after all they didn't become public servants to make money for themselves - they did it to help the community !

Oooops, sorry , thought it was April 1st ;)
Perhaps Bryn and Jamie could help out? They must have a few million sloshing around somewhere, after all they didn't become public servants to make money for themselves - they did it to help the community ! Oooops, sorry , thought it was April 1st ;) Tttoommy
  • Score: -16

10:23am Fri 4 Apr 14

JonnyBlueJeans says...

Very very sad. What we need now is for WAG and Westminster to tell us what they intend to do to help after the refinery closes and not witter on about doing something to stop it. They know it is a runaway train and nothing can be done to keep the place open in a world where there are many cheaper and newer establishments all over the world. Lets get some jobs aid from WAG now to offset this disaster.
Very very sad. What we need now is for WAG and Westminster to tell us what they intend to do to help after the refinery closes and not witter on about doing something to stop it. They know it is a runaway train and nothing can be done to keep the place open in a world where there are many cheaper and newer establishments all over the world. Lets get some jobs aid from WAG now to offset this disaster. JonnyBlueJeans
  • Score: 1

10:35am Fri 4 Apr 14

Gogledd says...

neil p wrote:
I regularly work in Europe and around the UK.
If the refinery were to close, hopefully many workers may be able to be employed abroad, in the North Sea or the rest of the UK.

Because of the propensity of public sector work in Wales unfortunately people are blinkered into thinking that the UK government or welsh assembly government can help, this will not happen, like it or not, Murphy do not have any obligation to the local economy only their shareholders.
I'm sure they wont be all that concerned if Pembrokeshire bears a grudge against them but they save £15 million a year.

There is a vast army of world class oil industry workers from Pembrokeshire currently working on projects in the Shetlands, Grangemouth, Grimsby and Blackpool, many regulars in the North sea, others in Norway, Africa the Middle East and Australia.

They continue to call Pembrokeshire home but know that working here regularly is not going to happen again.

The thing they want the most is to be able to fly out of Haverfordwest on a regular flight to London for connections around the UK and abroad. This would enable them to stay living in Pembs and spend their hard earned wages in the local economy, this would also help the influx of visitors to the county that looks like we are going to be dependant on.

This is where the government and WAG could help to sort out a regular service from withybush.
Previous issues for development have been that the county show is held there, but should the worse happen, we may have a vast swathe of land near Milford haven that would be perfect for the development of a purpose built county showground.
Very true in what you say regarding Airport Facilities. However, I dont believe negatively that the powers that be can ever see the bigger picture. You are so right in what you say regarding allowing people to live and work here and we have a whole missing generation here in Pembs. My name Gogledd was chosen because I am from N Wales. What I have seen there with the opening up of the A55 as a dual carriageway has transformed the lives of people in my home town in Denbighshire as they are able to travel to work in Chester, Liverpool, Wrexham and surrounding areas quickly and easily and now generations stay and live in that area where as I had to move many years ago to find work. Until you do something about the dia communications to this part of the county ( Haverfordwest ) you can live in a dream. I know we are discussing the wider implications here of people staying and working and putting their pay back into the economy. Sadly I dont believe any more that there is anyone in Govt whether local or WG or National who has the necessary vision and who is not a career politician to bring it all to fruition......
[quote][p][bold]neil p[/bold] wrote: I regularly work in Europe and around the UK. If the refinery were to close, hopefully many workers may be able to be employed abroad, in the North Sea or the rest of the UK. Because of the propensity of public sector work in Wales unfortunately people are blinkered into thinking that the UK government or welsh assembly government can help, this will not happen, like it or not, Murphy do not have any obligation to the local economy only their shareholders. I'm sure they wont be all that concerned if Pembrokeshire bears a grudge against them but they save £15 million a year. There is a vast army of world class oil industry workers from Pembrokeshire currently working on projects in the Shetlands, Grangemouth, Grimsby and Blackpool, many regulars in the North sea, others in Norway, Africa the Middle East and Australia. They continue to call Pembrokeshire home but know that working here regularly is not going to happen again. The thing they want the most is to be able to fly out of Haverfordwest on a regular flight to London for connections around the UK and abroad. This would enable them to stay living in Pembs and spend their hard earned wages in the local economy, this would also help the influx of visitors to the county that looks like we are going to be dependant on. This is where the government and WAG could help to sort out a regular service from withybush. Previous issues for development have been that the county show is held there, but should the worse happen, we may have a vast swathe of land near Milford haven that would be perfect for the development of a purpose built county showground.[/p][/quote]Very true in what you say regarding Airport Facilities. However, I dont believe negatively that the powers that be can ever see the bigger picture. You are so right in what you say regarding allowing people to live and work here and we have a whole missing generation here in Pembs. My name Gogledd was chosen because I am from N Wales. What I have seen there with the opening up of the A55 as a dual carriageway has transformed the lives of people in my home town in Denbighshire as they are able to travel to work in Chester, Liverpool, Wrexham and surrounding areas quickly and easily and now generations stay and live in that area where as I had to move many years ago to find work. Until you do something about the dia communications to this part of the county ( Haverfordwest ) you can live in a dream. I know we are discussing the wider implications here of people staying and working and putting their pay back into the economy. Sadly I dont believe any more that there is anyone in Govt whether local or WG or National who has the necessary vision and who is not a career politician to bring it all to fruition...... Gogledd
  • Score: 1

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