Mossmorran flaring probe expected before the end of 2018 – Auto Republish

The results of an investigation into prolonged flaring at Mossmorran are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Labour MP Lesley Laird said the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Health and Safety Executive had given an assurance that the probe would be concluded in November.

She expects the findings — including any recommendations for interventions — to be made public within 30 days of the investigation being completed.

The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP said the frequency of flaring episodes was unacceptable and communities surrounding Mossmorran deserved answers.

“We also need to know how this can be prevented from happening again in future,” she said.

Mrs Laird was speaking at a meeting of the Mossmorran Communities Working Group, which she co-chairs with Professor Wilson Sibbett.

The group heard Mossmorran processes half of Scotland’s energy and the 222km-long St Fergus pipeline, which supplies ethylene to the site and provides 15% of Scotland’s gas supply, cannot be shut down automatically.

Faring is used as an essential safety mechanism but it can carry on for days during an incident.

Representatives from plant operators Shell and ExxonMobil said £225 million had been invested in the plant in 2010 to ensure it was “fit for another 50 years” and that the plant’s reputation and safety record was of paramount importance.

At the working group’s previous meeting SEPA’s chief executive Terry A’Hearn made a commitment to halt unplanned flaring.

Variations to Mossmorran’s permit were imposed by SEPA to include legally binding conditions requiring the plant to take preventative measures against noise and vibration.

Mrs Laird said: “We established this group to bring pressure to bear on Mossmorran and I think, by having the right people around a table, we are succeeding in that.

“At our most recent meeting progress was made in determining steps in a plan to ensure better monitoring of air quality, noise and vibration.

“We’ve still got a long way to go yet on this and other issues before communities will be satisfied their concerns have been properly addressed.

“But, thanks to the ongoing commitment of all members of the group, I think we’re on the right road.”

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Resident-led action group seeking redress from the long-term social, health and environmental impacts from the Mossmorran facilities in Central Fife operated by ExxonMobil (Fife Ethylene Plant) and Shell (Fife NGL).


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