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Milford Haven refinery bought by Swiss group

31 July 2014

The Milford Haven oil refinery in Wales has been bought from US group Murphy Oil by Klesch Refining Ltd, part of a Swiss commodities group, with the deal expected to close no later than October.The news means that around 400 jobs will be saved at the site. Workers feared the worst when a £300m deal to save the plant collapsed in April, and Murphy Oil stopped buying crude oil to be processed at the site.

Murphy spokesman Bryan Kelly said:

“Murphy Oil is pleased to announce that a deal has been agreed for the sale of the Milford Haven Refinery. We have worked tirelessly to find a workable solution that would see the refinery remain open, and are delighted that a positive outcome has been reached.”

The Klesch Group specialises in the production and trading of chemicals, metals and oil. Klesch Group founder, Gary Klesch, told BBC Wales he was "excited" by the takeover and confirmed he would be keeping the plant's current workforce.

"Early this morning we signed a purchase agreement with Murphy Oil, we're now contracted to buy it," he said. The plant's management had suggested a list of site improvements and the Klesch Group would be investing tens of millions of pounds in the area, he confirmed.

"Whenever we buy a business I look for strong, local stakeholder support. And that support comes in many, many different forms. From working with us on licensing, working with us on permits, there's a whole list of issues that need to be dealt with when you're buying a business with this complexity," he said.

“My hats off to both governments in the effort they have undertaken... that was a big factor in my decision at the end of the day to go forward because I could see they were very involved and very supportive."

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