Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Focused on Safe and Reliable Port Services, Resilience, Net-zero and Private and Public Partnerships

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Tom Sawyer joined The Port of Milford Haven as its new Chief Executive in April 2022 and will be instrumental in driving the ports vision and strategy forward.

A dynamic leader with a broad professional background, Tom talks to Business News Wales about his role, the Port’s vision and the responsibility he undertakes as the Port embarks on a new era of potentially transformational development.

Interview Highlights

  • As the chief executive of a Trust Port, I'm responsible for the leadership of the Port's activities. I see myself more as a steward and a custodian. It is mine and the team’s duty to hand over the port in a better condition than that which we took it on.
  • There is the business and commercial side of running the port, but we also recognise that we have a very strong social obligation to our local community which we take very seriously.
  • It's important to remember that fundamentally as a port we enable the movement of shipping up and down the waterway in a safe and effective manner, making sure that we provide the services both on the water and at the quay side that enable high levels of reliability of service.
  • In terms of our investment portfolio, we are looking at diversifying those things that we need, to develop major opportunities of the future.
  • Hospitality and tourism plays a big role in the regional economy and is what this beautiful county, is famous for. Whilst Milford Haven historically may not have been the first place that people would think about coming to in terms of their holiday plans, the team have been very successful recently to increase the magnetism of Milford Haven. The Haven in general is somewhere that people want to come to as a destination and the Fantastic Ty Hotel, which we have invested in with our partners, the Celtic Collection, is a real ongoing success story.
  • We need to be focused around creating a resilient business that's future focused, that is centered around net zero and making sure that we are well positioned to deliver the policy objectives of Welsh and UK government.
  • Fundamentally it is the commercial aspects of what we do on the Waterway that allow us to create the engine for our diversification agenda and investment portfolio, which includes hospitality and tourism.
  • Clearly Floating Offshore Wind in the Celtic Sea is a major part of our future. We are heavily involved right now in looking in great detail, doing the analysis, working with the developers, working with policymakers and decision makers to see what shape that is going to take.
  • Clearly, we need to ensure that we are creating the facilities as we have a really strong heritage and skill set and competence base on the haven, in terms of what we've done through the carbon era,
  • We will continue the Energy Kingdom programme, looking at green and blue hydrogen and looking at the decarbonization of the activities on the waterway.
  • We will be a strong partner to those organisations that are looking to develop their businesses in terms of FLOW, but also in terms of the ongoing movement up and down the waterway.
  • The ports across the country are going to have to integrate, to deliver all what is required to deliver floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea. We are working with partners and other ports to see how we fit into that and how we can mutually support each other.
  • I think we're going to see a major expansion in terms of quay side infrastructure. One of the qualities we have here is a very deep haven. One of the things we know that we're going to need to do is to work closely with developers to make sure that they are getting the access that they require, with the right services on the quay side, to access the deep water facilities that we have here.
  • Reliability of service is absolutely fundamental to what we do here, keeping the waterway moving and keeping the waterways safe, that's an absolute fundamental.
  • For me personally I need to build ever greater levels of intimacy and understanding with our stakeholder community and with our workforce.