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MP: Murco sale collapse is 'hammer blow' for area

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has described the news that a deal to sell the Murco refinery has fallen through as "a hammer blow" for the local area and the wider economy.

He said "hundreds of skilled, high quality jobs are now at risk", and called on the UK and Welsh governments to work together "to offer every possible support to avoid the worst outcome of full refinery closure."

The collapse of the Murco refinery sale is a hammer blow for Pembrokeshire and the wider West Wales economy. 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.

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.

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.

– Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP

400 jobs at risk as Murco oil refinery sale collapses

Around 400 jobs at the Murco oil refinery in Milford Haven are at risk as the plant may have to close, after talks over selling it have collapsed.

The Murco refinery employs around 400 people in Pembrokeshire.

Murco has announced it is today entering a period of consultation with staff, but says "it is not possible to predict the outcome of this process" at the moment.

The refinery has been up for sale for around three years, with talks though to be at an advanced stage with private equity fund Greybull Capital.

Today, Murco said: "Following the expiration of exclusive talks with a potential buyer, [parent company] 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."

Watch our report from February: Fears for future of Milford Haven refinery

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60 new jobs created by manufacturers in Port Talbot

Sixty new jobs are being created in Port Talbot, by manufacturers Freundenberg Oil & Gas Technologies.

The company manufactures sealing solutions for the oil and gas industry. Credit: Freundenberg Oil & Gas Technologies

The German company is investing £11m to turn its three sites in Baglan into one larger base, with staff numbers rising from 237 to 297.

The Welsh Government provided £3m in support, says the decision will also safeguard around 90 jobs, and shows the company's commitment to Wales.

Deal struck over compensation for former Visteon workers

A compensation offer has been made to former workers at the Visteon car parts business in Swansea, whose pensions were affected when the company went into administration.

More: Unite says Visteon talks were 'lengthy but constructive'

The settlement, thought to be worth millions of pounds, was agreed between the Unite union and Ford, who owned the business before selling it ten years ago.

Former workers were in London today to hear the news.

Tom Sheldrick reports.

Unite: Visteon talks 'lengthy but constructive'

The Unite union described its talks with Ford as "lengthy but constructive".

Unite has concluded an agreement with Ford to make a settlement offer to eligible ex-Visteon employees who filed legal claims in connection with reductions in their pensions resulting from Visteon UK being put into administration in 2009.

The settlement would avoid further expense for participants in the case and will settle the legal claims that these individuals have made against Ford.

Details of the settlement are confidential and a private matter for those directly involved.

– Unite

More: Settlement reached over Visteon workers' pensions

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Settlement reached over Visteon workers' pensions

A settlement has been reached to offer compensation to former workers at Visteon, five years after the car parts company went into administration, hitting employees' pensions.

Former Visteon workers outside the Unite union offices in London this morning Credit: David Wood/ITV News

More: Swansea car parts workers demonstrate in London

Unite said it had concluded an agreement with Ford, which sold off the car parts business to Visteon over a decade ago.

It is understood that around 1,200 ex-workers from factories in Swansea, Basildon, Essex, Enfield in north London and Belfast will be covered by the settlement.

Funding for energy sector training 'fantastic news'

Ken Skates, the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, has hailed £2.3m of funding for training in the energy sector as "fantastic news."

The funding will focus on preparing people for work on major developments on Anglesey, especially Wylfa Newydd, the planned nuclear power station.

I’m delighted to announce this additional £2.3 million of funding from the Welsh Government to support the Energy Island Programme.This is fantastic news for Anglesey and the surrounding region.

A project as ambitious and wide-ranging as this will require a highly skilled workforce with the experience, knowledge and expertise to meet the demands of the energy industry, particularly when it comes to both the construction and operation of Wylfa Newydd.

This investment means that Grwp Llandrillo Menai can both expand its training provision and build on its links with industry to deliver the kind of practical, hands-on work placements that learners will need.

I’m also particularly pleased that, thanks to this funding, apprentices will be at the forefront of Energy Island’s development. Having work-ready young people in place to support major projects will make such a difference and, in the long-term, can only strengthen the region’s labour pool.

– Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

Boost for training in Wales' energy sector announced

wylfa newydd
The investment will focus on preparing people for work on major developments on Anglesey, especially Wylfa Newydd. Credit: Horizon Nuclear Power

The Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates, has announced a £2.3m investment in training for Wales’ energy sector.

This will focus on preparing people for work on major developments on Anglesey, especially Wylfa Newydd, the planned nuclear power station.

The boost was announced at a crucial meeting with Grwp Llandrillo Menai leaders at the Coleg Menai Energy Centre at Llangefni.

The centre is set to be the hub for programmes for a huge range of engineering, construction and support activities.

The investment will also be a major boost for apprenticeships, to ensure work-ready people are available as major projects build momentum. The Grwp has already established a successful apprenticeship employment agency, Cwmni Prentis Menai, and plans to build on its initial success.

Read more: Anglesey residents have their say on Wylfa Newydd

SWALEC owner freezes prices

The price freeze will last until January 2016. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The owner of SWALEC, SSE, is to freeze household gas and electricity prices.

The group is also carrying out a "legal separation" of its wholesale arm - which includes energy production and storage - from its retail division which sells energy to homes and businesses.

The announcements come as SSE says it's shedding 500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme.

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