NINE local maritime jobs may be under threat, as the Port of Milford Haven looks to save money in light of falling oil and gas import levels.
Information passed to the Western Telegraph's sister paper the Milford Mercury suggests that nine of the 24 launch crew currently employed by the Port are at risk of losing their jobs as the Port tries to halt its drop in profits.
The Port has said it is unable to comment on how the savings would be made at present, but Vidette Swales, HR Director at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “In response to lower levels of oil and gas imports, we are working with our launch crew union representatives on a partnering basis to look at ways in which we can improve the efficiency of our marine operations.
“Informal discussions are ongoing and no formal consultation with the staff has taken place.”
At present, the 24 launch crew are work within the Port’s marine division, which is responsible for overseeing shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other resources to several local refineries.
A drop in LNG shipments in recent years has been blamed for the Port’s significant loss in profit, and the recent collapse of Pembroke Dock-based boat building company Mustang Marine - of which the Port is a 50 per cent shareholder – has also hit the Port hard financially.
Preseli-Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said: "The Port is a major employer in its own right on the Haven and any job losses would be very unwelcome at this time.
“Clearly it has been a challenging year for the Port in terms of revenue. The priority remains for it to broaden its range of commercial activities alongside the reliance on oil and gas shipping.
“The outlook is by no means certain and the Port needs raise its game to create and develop new opportunities."
Earlier this year, the Port reported a slight drop in turnover down to £22.5m from £22.7m the year before.
In 2013 it reported pre-tax profits of just under £1.5m, down from more than £4.1m the previous year.