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There is “high volume flaring” at Mossmorran after ExxonMobil reported a fault at the Fife Ethylene Plant.
The firm have apologised and said they were working to shut down the plant as safely as possible following the “loss of steam generation” and a “significant process outage”.
A further statement this morning said: “As an update to last night’s communication, we can confirm that we have experienced mechanical failure across two of our three boilers.
“With the loss of this steam generation, we cannot continue to operate our normal processes.
“As such, we are progressing with the unit shut down to allow us to evaluate the root cause and execute necessary repairs.
“Flaring will be required while our team take the steps required to safely shut down operations.
“We will always work to minimise the timelines, and will update you as these are confirmed.
“We, again, apologise if flaring is causing any concern but reiterate that the process is safe and poses no risk to communities.”
ExxonMobil said that SEPA had been advised about the incident and information about flaring could be found on their website.
James Glen, chair of the Mossmorran Action Group, said: “Once again the night sky in Central Fife has been lit up with apocalyptic flaring as ExxonMobil experiences yet another unplanned emergency.
“A massive plume of black smoke testified to the release of a large quantity of unburned hydrocarbons and other toxic pollutants.
“Families in neighbouring communities were again forced to suffer extensive noise intrusion, light pollution that turned night into day and consequent sleeplessness and anxiety.
“Residents were left frustrated when they couldn’t report the unplanned emergency to SEPA as their pollution helpline proved unable to cope with the volume of calls.
“Individuals have submitted reports to our group of disturbed sleep, nausea, stress, anxiety, headaches, sore throats and burning eyes during this extreme flaring event.
“Unfortunately NHS Fife isn’t equipped to capture this data and the symptoms felt by residents will be arrogantly dismissed by ExxonMobil and some politicians.”
He added: “In 2001 the then shadow health minister, Nicola Sturgeon, promised residents a public probe into Mossmorran, 18 years later residents are still waiting.
“Public calls for an independent social impact study has fallen on deaf ears, as the First Minister, and current health minister Roseanna Cunningham ignore the plight of residents.
“What will it take for residents to get justice?”