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Sunday Times article sparks fears for Murco workers

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murco saleAN ARTICLE published today by a leading national newspaper has reignited fears amongst workers that a Milford Haven oil refinery may close, putting 400 jobs at risk.

The Sunday Times printed that mounting losses as well as a shift in focus by parent company Murphy Oil – from refining to exploration – meant that the refinery was now at risk. The American oil giant has tried to sell the refinery, which opened in 1973, but no buyer has been found. This is despite the offer of a multi-million pound dowry.

According to accounts published by Murphy Oil in the USA, the refinery made a loss of $105m (£63m) in the last three months of 2013.

Murphy Oil classified the refinery, which is the smallest site in the UK, as a “discontinued operation” in its accounts, according to The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times has also reported that Murphy Oil said that it expects to complete the “disposition” of the refinery by this year.

Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, has spoken to The Herald about her concern about the future of refinery following the report that it may face closure.

Mrs Evans said: “This is deeply concerning. The accounts, filed in America, show Milford Haven representing a loss to the company of $105 million for the last quarter of 2013.

“Murphy Oil has said that it expects to complete the “disposition” of the refinery at Milford Haven by the end of the year. I am seeking urgent clarity from the company as to what that means.

“Assurances were given in November that the refinery would not close – and yet three months later the company is talking about “disposition.” If disposition means a sale, then that could be positive as it would end a protracted period of uncertainty for the 400 strong workforce. However, if disposition means closure, then that would be a devastating and terrible blow to Milford Haven and the surrounding area.

“I know that there are several serious challenges facing the Milford Haven operation, including the downturn in demand for petrol. There is also new competition from giant refineries being built in the Middle East and Asia which can operate at a fraction of the cost of Milford Haven refinery, which is the smallest in Britain.

“I have written to the Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport asking what discussions she and her officials are having with the company, what assistance Government might be able to offer in terms of helping find a buyer for the refinery, and what support can be offered to the workers.

“I also am seeking a meeting with union representatives.”

HERALD NEWS UPDATE

AN ARTICLE published today by a leading national newspaper has reignited fears amongst workers that a Milford Haven oil refinery may close, putting 400 jobs at risk.

The Sunday Times printed that mounting losses as well as a shift in focus by parent company Murphy Oil – from refining to exploration – meant that the refinery was now at risk. The American oil giant has tried to sell the refinery, which opened in 1973, but no buyer has been found. This is despite the offer of a multi-million pound dowry.

According to accounts published by Murphy Oil in the USA, the refinery made a loss of $105m (£63m) in the last three months of 2013.

Murphy Oil classified the refinery, which is the smallest site in the UK, as a “discontinued operation” in its accounts, according to The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times has also reported that Murphy Oil said that it expects to complete the “disposition” of the refinery by this year.

Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, has spoken to The Herald about her concern about the future of refinery following the report that it may face closure.

Mrs Evans said: “This is deeply concerning. The accounts, filed in America, show Milford Haven representing a loss to the company of $105 million for the last quarter of 2013.

The site has been for sale for three years, but Murco has been unable to find a buyer for the site and had to write-down the company’s value by $73m (£44m) from its value last year.

“Murphy Oil has said that it expects to complete the “disposition” of the refinery at Milford Haven by the end of the year. I am seeking urgent clarity from the company as to what that means.

“Assurances were given in November that the refinery would not close – and yet three months later the company is talking about “disposition.” If disposition means a sale, then that could be positive as it would end a protracted period of uncertainty for the 400 strong workforce. However, if disposition means closure, then that would be a devastating and terrible blow to Milford Haven and the surrounding area.

“I know that there are several serious challenges facing the Milford Haven operation, including the downturn in demand for petrol. There is also new competition from giant refineries being built in the Middle East and Asia which can operate at a fraction of the cost of Milford Haven refinery, which is the smallest in Britain.

“I have written to the Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport asking what discussions she and her officials are having with the company, what assistance Government might be able to offer in terms of helping find a buyer for the refinery, and what support can be offered to the workers.

“I also am seeking a meeting with union representatives.”

Plaid Cymru AM for the Mid and West, Simon Thomas said: “Just a couple of months ago the current owners were adamant that closure was not on the cards at Milford Haven but comments by the company’s CEO and the write down of UK assets, namely Murco, appear to suggest a real threat to ongoing operations at Milford Haven.

“Four hundred jobs are at stake so it is vital that the Welsh Government intervenes now. In November we were told that talks between the Welsh Government and the company were not in relation to the plant’s closure which at the time was a great relief. But it is unfair to expect workers to live with such uncertainty hanging over them.

“I expect the Economy Minister to address the Assembly at the earliest possible opportunity to reassure us that the Welsh Government is fighting for those 400 jobs.”

Paul Davies, Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said, “The Murco oil refinery is an important employer in Pembrokeshire providing hundreds of skilled jobs.

“Further uncertainty over the refinery’s future is most unwelcome and I hope the company will be offered every possible support.

“I hope Welsh Labour Ministers are doing all they can to help secure the future of this refinery and the contribution it makes to the Welsh economy.”

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Pembrokeshire the perfect holiday spot

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Pembrokeshire has been the perfect holiday destination for many years.

The county is home to miles of scenic coastline and beaches, stunning villages full of character and plenty of coastal escapes. It is the perfect place for tourists to sweep the cobwebs away and enjoy the beauty of the scenic Welsh countryside.

But with so many holidaymakers set to staycation in the UK, the question many people have been asking is where will they all stay? This is where Pass the Keys® comes in!

As the demand for staycation accommodation and short-term rentals grows across the UK, and more so in Pembrokeshire, there is an increasing demand for professional holiday let management services to help make the process of short term letting a completely hassle-free and enjoyable experience for property owners.

Pass the Keys® is run by local people & partnered with local companies but backed by a national brand who have are tried and tested infrastructure, as well as award winning technology to keep a cut above the rest. We are proud to be one of the only Professional Co-hosts of Airbnb in Pembrokeshire, so you can rest easy knowing that you are dealing with short-term letting experts.

Mark Pennino and Jamie Smith, Owners of Pass the Keys – South Pembrokeshire

Our holiday homes thrive thanks to our high standards of local support and this is demonstrated by our extremely high ratings on both Trustpilot and Google Reviews, why not take a look for yourself. Our bespoke software systems ensure that your holiday home is successfully marketed, occupied and kept safe, all of which are important factors to consider when selecting a holiday letting agency.

So, if you’re curious to find out more or maybe you are managing your holiday home yourself and it’s all getting a bit too demanding, go to our website and see how much your property can earn.

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Health, safety and welfare facilities enhanced at Milford Fish Docks

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WORK has been completed at Milford Fish Docks to enhance health, safety and welfare facilities, including the installation of the only marine crane in south Wales.

Following close consultation with the fleet, the Port of Milford Haven successfully applied to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to add to the existing provisions for local and European fishers at Wales’ largest fishing port.

Despite progress being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, embankment ladders, additional life rings and fire extinguishers have all now been installed around the docks, as well as the refurbishment of the shower, toilet and laundry block which includes disabled access.

On the quayside, a marine crane has been installed to enable fishers to load and unload their bait and catch in a safer, more efficient manner, with comprehensive training undertaken by Port staff who are able to operate the crane at any time of the day or night – at no additional cost to the fishing customers.

In order to help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the water, a new mobile foul waste pump out facility is now available meaning any waste from fishing vessels will be taken away and disposed of appropriately rather than entering the waterway.

Melanie Durney, Marina and Docks Manager, said: “We are home to Wales’ largest fishing docks and as a Trust Port we use any profit to develop our infrastructure and services to provide opportunities for today and for future generations. Over the last few years, we have been investing to ensure the inshore fleet can work as effectively and safely as possible, and having this funding meant we could build on what is already here. The new shower and laundry block will make a huge difference to the welfare of fishers as they now have their own designated area to freshen up and the marine crane, which is the only one in the whole of south Wales, will make landing their catch a quicker and safer process.”

The project has been part-funded through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union.

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Haverfordwest residents amongst first to get ultrafast broadband

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BROADBAND COMPANY OGI has announced this week that work is now underway to bring full fibre broadband to Haverfordwest. The county town will be “one of the first three communities in Wales to benefit from top-speed, future-proof broadband”, the company said.

The engineering work, which has started on St Martins’ Park and around Highlands Avenue, will create an all-new fibre optic cable network throughout the town. That means that homes and local businesses will very soon benefit from one of the best broadband experiences anywhere on the planet. This is just the start of Ogi’s mission to bring real full fibre broadband for better experiences, for better opportunities and for better lives. 

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve witnessed all kinds of experiences reinvented digitally, from working and learning to wellbeing. So with access to ultrafast broadband, all kinds of new opportunities become possible for the people of Pembrokeshire,” says Councillor Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure & Culture at Pembrokeshire County Council. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Ogi, who we feel share our vision and mission to establish Pembrokeshire as one of the best digitally connected counties in the country. This is a really exciting development.”

Haverfordwest, like so many Welsh communities, has simply not been getting the broadband it deserves, so that’s where the transformation begins. Full fibre broadband is much faster, more reliable and way more sustainable than traditional services. Ogi is specifically targeting underserved areas, accelerating the pace of full fibre roll out across south Wales – and transforming the digital landscape for generations to come. As work begins in Pembrokeshire, sister projects are also starting in The Vale of Glamorgan and Abergavenny. 

Ogi’s offering is ultrafast and ultra-reliable – up to an incredible 900 Mbps. That is thirty-two times faster than the current average typical speed for Haverfordwest, at just 27.61 Mbps. 

“Local residents in Haverfordwest will see Ogi Engineers over the next few weeks as we create a brand new, all-fibre network in the area that wildly surpasses what came before. Our friendly Ogi team will also be around, answering questions and helping residents discover what real fibre broadband can do for them,” said Sally-Anne Skinner, Chief Revenue Officer at Ogi. “I’d encourage everyone to ask lots of questions and to register their interest so they can be among the first to receive ultrafast Ogi broadband”. 

“Made and built in Wales for Wales. We’re working on making ‘full fibre’ real and relevant for every person who joins our service, by bringing new experiences to life: we’ll be the internet promise that delivers. Gamers will game. Zoomers will zoom. Businesses will grow. Everyone getting on with what they need to,” said Ben Allwright, CEO of Ogi. 

“We’re totally committed to helping every Welsh community build back better,” he added. “Everyone prospers when brilliant broadband delivers real opportunities, resilience and sustainability, and we have big ambitions to see Wales flourish.”

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