Multi-million pound investment in new energy plant will safeguard 1,000 jobs at Pembroke refinery
(Image: Welsh Government).
A multi-million pound energy project that will help ensure the sustainability of Valero’s Pembroke refinery into the future has been given the go ahead.
The £127m project will create a combined heat and power (CHP) co-generation unit which will provide power for the refinery.
It’s hoped the 45 megawatt unit, which will burn natural gas and recycle 50 tonnes of high pressured steam every hour, will help Valero better control future electricity costs and achieve greater energy efficiency.
This will ensure the future viability of the business and help sustain employment for the site’s 1,000-plus employees and contractors.
Valero’s vice president and refinery general manager Ed Tomp said: “This project is important to maintaining the refinery’s long-term viability. The decision to approve our CHP unit plans by Valero management caps a year of tremendous effort to obtain approval for this major investment in the Welsh economy.
“We appreciate the Welsh Government’s support and planning permission, it is a testament to our collaborative approach with the Welsh Government, regulators, and the public.”
A principal contractor will be appointed and hold an open day for local people to discuss job opportunities with the project.
First Minister Carwyn Jones, who met with Valero while in Washington this week, described the investment as a vote of confidence in the Pembrokeshire site and the wider Welsh economy.
He said: “This project is a huge boost to the economy of south west Wales, on a similar scale to transformative projects such the Aston Martin site in St Athan and the Wales International Convention Centre.
“The Welsh Government has been working closely with Valero in supporting this investment, which will allow the company to grow and compete successfully in a global marketplace, ensuring sustainability of employment well into the future.
“This is great news for the site’s 1,000-plus employees and contractors, and a huge boost to the Welsh economy as we celebrate St David’s Day.”
CHP units are more efficient than conventional power stations because they capture the heat that is created when electricity is generated. In normal power stations this heat is usually lost as escaping storm.
The CHP unit at Valero’s refinery is the first project of its kind to receive planning permission as a development of national significance process under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.
Valero Energy is a Welsh Government anchor company located in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.