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Murco: Management buyout ‘potential’

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THE HEAD of Murphy’s Oil UK operations has stepped aside to pursue the acquisition of the company’s ailing Milford Haven refinery and retail business, a source close to the company said on Monday (May 19).

 Murco, Murphy’s British subsidiary, has been engaged for months in talks with several parties on the sale of the 135,000 barrelsper- day refinery and its assets. Murco Managing Director Tom McKinlay told employees on Friday he was taking a leave of absence. Brian Kelly, currently head of Murphy’s business development in West Africa, the Middle East and Britain, will replace him and lead Murco’s negotiations with the potential buyers, the source said. “Tom McKinlay has taken a leave of absence because he is pursuing a management buyout in order to maintain integrity of process,” the source said. A possible management buyout is the latest twist in Murphy’s four year-long quest to sell its downstream assets in Britain. The Milford Haven plant stopped purchasing crude oil last month and is in the process of reducing its operations as stockpiles are expected to run out by next week, a second source said. The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that after a plant is completely shut, restarting it typically becomes prohibitively expensive. Besides McKinlay’s interest, other potential bidders include private equity fund Greyb

ull Capital and Swiss industrial group Klesch, the first source said. McKinlay is in the process of trying to get the funding for a possible buyout, the first source said. Greybull was in advanced stages of talks with Murco in March to buy the plant and associated assets for around $500 million. Stephen Crabb MP told The Herald: “The management buyout adds to the list of potential buyers who all have serious proposals to purchase the plant.” “But there’s a narrow time frame for a deal to be completed, which is why I have been speaking to Murphy senior management in Arkansas, to seek to better understand their position – as well as urging UK and Welsh Government Ministers to do all they can to help to secure a deal.” Paul Davies AM said: “I’m hopeful that talks are optimistic, given that there are three potential buyers who are seriously interested in the refinery. I’m given to understand that the next few days will be vital in delivering a positive outcome for Murco and the local community. “I have been communicating with the Welsh Government, who as we know has set up a task force to secure the future of refinery operations and safeguard the longterm future of jobs at the plant. It’s crucial that we all work together to help secure the sustainability of this refinery for years to come.” Report by Ron Bousso

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Multi-agency response to house fire in Siskin Close, Haverfordwest

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FIRE crews are attending a domestic fire in a property on Siskin Close, Haverfordwest.

As of 11.45pm on Monday evening crews were still dampening down a fire which enfulfed two floors of a domestic property.

It is understood the alarm was raised after 10pm.

Our reporter on the scene said that there were four fire crews in attendance as well as three ambulances as well as police, who had set up a perimeter, controlling access to the scene.

A large number of local residents were watching on from a safe distance as the incident was being dealt with.

At the time of writing the street was blocked off to traffic with a large number of emergency vehicles parked up, all the way around the corner to the top of Harrier Road.

All of the emergency services have been contacted for a comment.

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Outdoor hospitality given go-ahead and rules on mixing outdoors relaxed in Wales

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SIX people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April as cases of new COVID-19 infections continue to fall, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed today.

The current rule provides for up to six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors.

The new rules from Saturday will allow six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors.

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside.

The rules for meeting indoors remain unchanged.

The First Minister has also confirmed outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April 2021.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “The public health context in Wales remains favourable, with cases falling and our vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength. Because meeting outdoors continues to be lower risk than meeting indoors, we are able to bring forward changes to allow any six people to meet outdoors.

“This will provide more opportunities for people, especially young people, to meet outdoors with their friends. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

“I’m also pleased to confirm outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April.

“These changes will help the hospitality sector recover after a difficult twelve months.

“It is thanks to the continuing efforts of people across Wales we are able to introduce this change. Together, we will continue to keep Wales safe.”

On Friday (23rd April 2021), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the covid rules that will come into force on Monday 26 April 2021.

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Police ‘enforcement and engagement’ to curb anti-social behaviour in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby will be using enforcement and engagement in a bid to curb future incidents of anti-social behaviour, they said on Monday (Apr 17)

The announcement comes after Tenby was left with empty cans, broken bottles and fast food wrappers strewn everywhere, after over two hundred young people gathered to enjoy the weekend – perhaps expected whilst pubs remained closed.

Licensed establishment have not yet been able to open in Wales, but they are open in England for outdoor refreshments. They are opening on Monday.

There were reports of young people walking through the town with boxes full of alcohol, with other people buying takeaway drinks from licensed premises before making their way to the harbour.

The sheer number of people meant people were urinating in the streets, some residents told The Pembrokeshire Herald.

A Dyfed-Powys police spokesperson said: “With the continued easing of the regulations designed to keep us safe and the weather getting warmer we have seen an increase of people visiting and out and about in the Pembrokeshire area.
“While it’s great that people are now able to visit Pembrokeshire again, the behaviour of some placed additional pressure not only on the police but on the local authority as well.
“Tenby in particular attracted a large crowd on Saturday evening, April 18, resulting in anti-social behaviour, especially in the harbour area.

Chief Inspector Louise Harries said: “We recognise the concerns of residents and businesses after the anti-social behaviour seen in Tenby on Saturday evening. We are working with partners to avoid these issues re-occurring in the future.
“Police officers will be patrolling the area over the coming weeks and while the priority will be to engage with the public, enforcement action will be taken where necessary”
“We want to see people enjoying and the majority of people are doing so in accordance with the regulations, however the minority who don’t are spoiling it for others.
“We will continue to engage with our communities and visitors to the area to ensure that everyone enjoys in a safe manner.”

(Cover photo courtesy Pure West Radio)

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