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Port’s report shows £3m fall in profits and fewer shipments

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THE PORT OF MILFORD HAVEN has published its 2017 Annual Report and Accounts, revealing a £3m fall in profits alongside a 2.8m tonne decrease in throughput for the year.

The Port feels this was due mostly to the ongoing volatility in the Liquefied Natural Gas industry which saw record low shipments in 2017, and in part to an additional £1m pension service charge due to changes in long term interest rates.

The report also records an increase in the number of employee concerns and incidents over the past year, with the Port suggesting this is merely a result of the updated complaint mechanism.

To illustrate the volatility of the Gas Industry, in 2011 the port handled 126 LNG vessels. In 2013 this had fallen to 54, rising again to 91 in 2015, before falling to a low of 36 in 2017-just over one quarter of the throughput in  2011.

This volatility is driven by the differential in the price of wholesale gas in the UK market compared to other markets such as the Far East and Latin America.

This is not due to Brexit, nor low oil prices, but is due to the balance of supply and demand in the gas wholesale markets, not only in the UK, but also across the globe.

The global market for LNG is heavily influenced by the regularly fluctuating price, with increased demand in locations such as China and India seeing it sold there rather than being transported to Milford Haven.

In 2016’s report, the Port recorded a 26% reduction in the volume of LNG handled and they had anticipated this headline trade being substantially lower again in 2017.

Chris Martin, Chair of Board conceded that the significant reduction in LNG activity supports the need to diversify the Port’s revenues into new areas of business, reducing the impact of oil and gas market influences or the loss of a major customer.

A major investment was completed last year which saw the acquisition of Havens Head Retail Park. The retail park will complement the Port’s extensive property portfolio and become a key part of the Milford Waterfront development, creating close to 600 new jobs in Milford Haven. The first construction element is now underway.

Pension costs in 2017 were, at £2.3m, nearly £1m higher than in the preceding year. This additional charge taken through the profit and loss account is based on a technical calculation driven by accounting standards of the true annual cost to the port of funding pension obligations.

The calculation is highly dependent on current long term interest rates which reduced significantly in 2016 and which led to the £6.6m reversal of the Port’s scheme into a 10% deficit position shown in 2016’s accounts.

The accounting entries serve to underline why, in terms of employee benefits, it is now almost universally the case that businesses have moved substantially towards offering defined contribution schemes only.

The Port’s policy is to provide employee pay and benefits in line with the median market and therefore it is currently consulting on a move to a  defined contribution scheme for new employees.

In the past year the Port has set up an Assurance Framework (AF) to provide a mechanism for reporting incidents, near misses and concerns, whether they are minor or major in nature.

Employees are encouraged to submit AF reports, which resulted in the number rising from 247 in 2016 to 318 in 2017.

During the year the number of near misses fell from 81 to 20, concerns increased from 67 to 124 and incidents rose from 99 to 174.

The Port were however able to record zero lost time accidents in 2017.

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Five shouts in five days for Lifeboat crews at Angle

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ITS BEEN a really busy week for the crews at Angle with their first tasking to the 39 meter 300 tonne tall ship on Monday evening with engine failure and taking on water.

Crews then paged again in the early hours of Wednesday morning to a 11 meter sailing catamaran becalmed and low on fuel.

The training day Thursday was interrupted just after 12:30 PM with a tasking to a tender with three people on board that had upturned just off St Brides Haven.

Little & Broad Haven Lifeboat was also tasked along with Dale Coastguard.

Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat reached the three casualties and took them to shore where they were passed into the care of Dale Coastguard. Angle Lifeboat was stood down as it was passing through Jack’s Sound.

As the Lifeboat was returning from the shout another tasking request came through. A tanker had spotted an unmanned RIB approximately 10 miles SW of St Ann’s Head. Once on scene, after some investigation the RIB was believed to have come from a mooring and no people were missing. The Lifeboat towed the RIB back to Angle.

The Lifeboat was rehoused shortly after 4:00 PM

The 5th shout for Angle Lifeboat this week.

This was a large multi agency search.

The crew were paged at 09:35 AM to assist Tenby Lifeboats RNLI ALB and inshore Lifeboats to search for a missing person in the water following a report from a fisherman on rocks near Manorbier that he had lost sight of a person that had been rowing a dinghy toward shore and the occupant may be in the water. HM Coastguard Tenby had also been tasked to the search

The dinghy was handed over to Tenby inshore lifeboat crew after being picked up by a Range Safety boat who then brought it into the awaiting police at Manorbier Beach.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan and St Govans Coastguard Rescue Team had now also joined in the search for the missing person.

After several hours searching a man approached police at Manorbier, stating he’d been on the vessel off Manorbier, had got into difficulty and ended up in the water.

With the casualty now safely ashore, all units were stood down at 12:27PM.

Angle Lifeboat then headed to Tenby Harbour to pick up some sustenance, a fizzy drink and a chocolate brownie, before heading back to Angle and rehousing at 2:31PM. The lifeboat was refuelled and given a well earned wash ready for the next tasking.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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