Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Nick Bourne gives his monthly update.

THE Murco refinery continues to be a priority and has been the focus of much of my work this month.

It is very welcome news that there is serious interest in the refinery and that negotiations between Murco and the investor are continuing.

I am hopeful the refinery will be sold but there continues to be a lot of work to be done on the matter.

As we all know, the plant is a vital part of the local and, indeed, the Welsh economy, so the Taskforce and all key stakeholders are still working hard to do everything possible to ensure a successful conclusion to the situation.

There has been more good news this month with the announcement that sites for testing wave and tidal energy off the south Pembrokeshire coast have been approved by the Crown Estates.

This offers the Haven further opportunities to develop its burgeoning reputation as the new energy capital of the UK.

The benefits could be significant both in terms of the potential for renewable energy, and therefore reducing carbon emissions and in boosting the local economy.

The Pembrokeshire project will be playing an important role in developing this technology, from which Wales in general is well placed to capitalise upon.

The waters off our coast are very well suited to energy generation and our ports, supply-chain infrastructure and grid infrastructure also put us in an enviable position for developing a thriving marine energy market, both as a significant generator and as an exporter of marine energy knowledge, technologies and services.

During the last month I also had the pleasure of opening the Spotlight West Wales event held at the Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen and introducing a video address from Edwina Hart AM, minister for economy, science and transport.

Spotlight West Wales was a one day event dedicated to celebrating success and ensuring a bright future for West Wales. The theme of the day was creating connections.

As the examples I have touched on in the column highlight, this theme resonates strongly in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone where partnership working, particularly between the public sector and private sector, is vitally important if we are to build upon the region’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence for energy.

The public sector, through the work going on between the Enterprise Zone partners and stakeholders, is creating and supporting the conditions for the private sector to create jobs and growth.

By working together we are making progress towards our aim of developing a thriving and sustainable future for the Haven.