Mossmorran blaze: 140 million pounds to spend on repairing the Fife plant – Auto Republish

Jacob McAlister Pic: Angie Brown

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Jacob McAlister, ExxonMobil Plant Director, said he hoped residents would notice a difference within a year following the new investment

A total of £ 140 million must be spent to reduce combustion and improve the reliability of a Fife chemical plant.

ExxonMobil said it had begun to recruit 850 temporary workers to do the job in the next 12 months.

The operator stated that the investment was on top of the £ 20 million he spends each year to maintain his Mossmorran site.

Residents have complained about light pollution and noise that often interrupts their sleep during stormy events.

ExxonMobil said the work – which includes the highlighting of flare tips and other technologies to reduce flare – will be completed by September 2020.

Currently, the plant has temporarily shut down while two of its three boilers have parts renewed and repaired.

The company stated that it plans to resume ethylene production operations during the fourth quarter of the year – between October and December – after the closure that began on 12 August.

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The Exxonmobil ethylene plant in Mossmorran is temporarily closed

The job involves building a glow at ground level, which means that they will use the high glow less often, reducing the visual impact of the plant. The multi-million pound terrestrial glow will be built by 2024.

Furthermore, the work will lead to a reduction in the amount of vibrations felt by local residents, the plant managers say.

Plant manager Jacob McAlister said, “The reliability of the plant was not what we want it to be and we recognize it: £ 140 million is an important step and shows our commitment to solving these problems.

“We built this (high torch tower) 34 years ago to keep the community safe and doing its job, but now we have more advanced technology that we didn’t have when it was built and we hope it addresses the problems we’ve been having . “

& # 39; Breathing breathed & # 39;

He added: “We intend to make improvements, which will dramatically reduce flaring and the duration of high flaring. I hope that in a year a significant part of this project will be realized and that the number of flaring events will be cut down.

“We are not spending this money to pacify the community, we are concerned about the plant’s impact on their lives and we are announcing how we are facing this.”

James Glen, president of the Mossmorran Action Group, said the residents believe there were “major investments” in the safety and maintenance of the facility.

He added: “It would be good to know how much planned expenditure for 140 million pounds is just to bring the plant to a reasonable standard of safety.

“We have been promised flaring suggestions previously and these have never reduced the flaring levels and the impact of noise.

“So the communities will wait with bated breath to see if this is an improvement.”

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Residents complained about light pollution and noise during combustion

Lesley Laird, deputy of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said that the major investments justify the concerns expressed by the communities for years.

“The residents have been sponsored for the most part, and those who have dared to raise concerns publicly have been mocked out of fear,” he added.

“It is only through the concerted pressure of the Mossmorran working group that Sepa, HSE and the companies have finally had to face the reality that the communities had reached their absolute limit and that they should have acted as if the plant were clearly not suitable. purpose.

“More detailed answers are now needed from all these organizations on how, under the watchful eye of Sepa and HSE, the Fife Ethylene Plant has been able to deteriorate to this point.”

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Due to community concerns, the Scottish government has made it clear that the unplanned flare frequency on the site is unacceptable and that operators must take action to address this, therefore this announcement of actions taken is therefore to be accepted “.

Ian Buchanan, CEO of Sepa, said: “Sepa made it clear that the repeated unplanned ExxonMobil flares were unacceptable and preventable and that flaring will be the exception rather than routine in the future.

“After providing a series of notices and changes to the operating authorizations to incentivize investments, also in terms of noise abatement by 2020, we welcome the extensive announcement of ExxonMobil today.”

Meanwhile, BBC Scotland has learned that the facility has been issued with an explosion risk warning.

Executive Health and Safety (HSE) stated that ExxonMobil failed to take all necessary measures to reduce the risk of “outbreaks of furnace outbreaks”.

The hearth is an area in the furnaces of the plant where the fuel is burned.

“Security risk management”

The inspectors stated that the risk stemmed from an uncontrolled accumulation of unburned fuel in the hearth.

The HSE warning, which covers seven furnaces in the plant, states that “the measures currently in place are not sufficient to reduce the risk to a reasonably possible minimum”.

It was released in July and ExxonMobil has until March of next year to comply with the improvement order.

On the HSE notice, McAlister said: “Our safety performance is such that in over 30 years we have never been involved in a serious security incident.

“We spent over 25 years with no time injuries lost on the site. You don’t do this unless you manage security risks appropriately. We are managing security risks, this is our number one job to make sure you do it right” .

In August it emerged that the Scottish environmental regulator Sepa had received nearly 1,400 complaints for the Mossmorran site, which is also shared by Shell Fife NGL.

Both companies have been modified and told to install flaring tips that reduce noise.

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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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