Llandarcy refinery in Wales, UK is a 400-hectare site that closed in 1998 after 75 years operation. The refinery played a significant role in the development of the petro-chemical industry as the UK's first crude oil refinery. A major employer in South West Wales – at its peak employing over 2600 workers – it played a key role in the development of the local economy.
Llandarcy is also adjacent to several environmentally sensitive areas, such as Crymlyn Bog, a RAMSAR site and Crymlyn Burrows a SSSI (designated Site of Special Scientific Interest). Close to the former refinery there is also Llandarcy Village, the original Garden Village developed by the D'arcy Family in the 1920's for employees.
BP joined forces with the Welsh Assembly Government and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, and received Royal approval from the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. Working together, these parties overcame huge hurdles: finding progressive solutions to planning, financial, risk and environmental remediation challenges. The deal to construct the urban village was signed in May 2008, and BP handed all environmental responsibilities over to St Modwen plc the appointed developer. Progress has continued since then, with the last of the old refinery buildings removed in October 2009 to make way for new development.
The development will include houses, offices, shops, training and leisure facilities – all within easy walking distance. As part of the development, there have been several initiatives to replace many of the refinery's lost jobs, creating conditions for new employment opportunities. Businesses have already been created on the former Llandarcy refinery site and nearly 1,000 jobs have been created. Over the next 25 years it is planned that the two-square-mile refinery site will develop into a sustainable community, providing at least 4,000 homes and creating an expected 3,000 jobs in total.
BP’s restoration of the former refinery site involves the removal of hydrocarbon wastes from large areas. The former waste tip also needs to be isolated and the liquid run-off from it managed using techniques that include reed beds. Biological degradation of waste will be used on much of the site.