Go on a journey from past, to present and see what the future holds in Milford Haven! Learn about the energy industry we have right on our doorstep and how it will be changing the world for better!
Hi there and welcome to Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. I will take you on a short journey through our past, present and future of our little town. My family has great historic ties to most of these significant sections of time. I begin with Milford Haven Waterway, this is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world at 26 metres.
The estuary network is a great example of a ‘ria’ system in Britain, this means a drowned valley that was flooded at the end of the Ice Age. We have 200 miles of stunning coastline, which is sheltered and is home to numerous wildlife species and plantations. A Viking chieftain sheltered his fleet of 23 ships in the Haven in 854AD, and Oliver Cromwell launched an attack on Ireland in 1649. Trade commodities of limestone and coal have travelled to and from the Haven. During WWII, the Haven was used as a base for American Troops on the D-Day landings, a very important preparation.
Milford Haven (Aberdaugleddau - mouth of the two Rivers Cleddau), is home to the largest energy port in the UK, handling over 30 million tonnes of cargo a year. The prolific Oil Industry began in 1961 when BP put its first pumping station at Angle, (my great grandfather was a captain of a BP tanker), then 4 refineries were added in the 60s and 70s.
At the Amoco refinery in 1983, there was an accidental fire at the number 11 tank which was holding over 46,000 tonnes of oil. This burned over two days firefighters from many stations were called in to tackle the blaze, and the RAF. My grandfather was on the frontline for two days. We also had Texaco, Gulf and Esso refineries. A crisis in Egypt meant that it was cheaper for their country to transport crude oil via large tankers, but they needed deep waterways. At Milford Haven - we have that!
Currently we have the largest storage of oil and gas supplies in the UK. Puma Energy, Valero, and South Hook LNG and Dragon LNG own the sites now. Liquified Natural Gas travels from many foreign countries to Milford Haven, I am using Qatar as my sister lives there. Their tankers carry LNG 6,140 nautical miles, which takes about 18 days to arrive at the South Hook LNG site. As natural gas declines, imported natural gas plays a very important part of our clean renewable energy programme.
Our fishing industry opened its dock to a fishing vessel from Lowestoft called ‘Sybil’ in 1888. This has seen many changes over the years, my grandfather and great-grandfather worked here, and I remember them saying you used to be able to walk from one side of the dock to the other on the local fishing trawlers. Today it still remains the largest fishing port in Wales.
Every other year on the Marina the opening event of “Pembrokeshire Fish Week” is hosted with amazing stalls, refreshments and entertainment, it is a great week. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is host to our scenic hot spots, they are all worth a visit, taking in the breath taking views, estuaries, hills, valleys and woodlands that Pembrokeshire has to offer. Or take a boat to one of the Islands - Skomer and see the Puffins, Skokholm to observe the Maritime Nature Reserve, Ramsey Island and visit the RSPB reserve, plus take a look at Pembrokeshire’s only deer herd, or Grassholm and view their gannet population.
We all need to do our bit for the future and help Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with sustainability, climate control and sea level rise. This is home to over 13 special areas of conservation, scientific, marine and nature projects. Marine Energy in Wales has 8 strategically located ports in the north, west and south. With EU funding there is a project in Wales over the next 5 years for wave and tidal stream demonstration zones and to lead the way in marine energy.
Imagine what this will look like possibly by 2027, when we could see the first floating wind farm Erebus off the coast of Pembrokeshire. (Fun fact: Though you might know Erebus as the God of Darkness and Chaos - There was a warship called Erebus (hopefully where the name came from), that was constructed in Pembroke ship yard in 1826!).
Solar Panels and Wind turbines are so visible across Pembrokeshire. The first Solar farm was built in Pembrokeshire in 2014, it only took 8 weeks to complete. North Wales already boasts the fifth largest offshore wind farm at Gwynt y Mor in the world, the 576 megawatt system has 160 wind turbines and was completed in 2015.
Milford Haven’s role in the Energy sector is important and we have it all!
These stories have been researched and written by the pupils of Milford Haven School, who have used their creativity to tell the stories of Milford Haven’s history in their own words.
Discover Milford Haven
Three unique heritage walking trails which celebrate our town’s stories and sense of place have been created for everyone to enjoy by the young people of Milford Haven.