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THE Scottish Government Energy Minister has praised the work of campaigners following the announcement that Exxon/Mobil are to spend £140m on upgrading facilities at the Fife Ethylene Plant
Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing, took the opportunity of General Questions in the Scottish Parliament, on Thursday to welcome the news that Exxon/Mobil are to invest £140million on reducing flaring and improving the efficiency of their plant at Mossmorran, in Ms Ewing’s constituency.
Ms Ewing asked Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse: “Does the Minister agree that Exxon/Mobil’s welcome announcement of £140 million investment with 850 jobs attached is an illustration of what determined communities can achieve through ensuring that their voices are heard? Will the Minister confirm that robust scrutiny and monitoring of the plant will continue apace?”
Mr Wheelhouse responded: “The investment is indeed very welcome. I pay tribute to the role that Annabelle Ewing and other campaigners have played in representing the concerns of the local community. “The recent variations to the permits of both operators at Mossmorran will mean that there is a clear timetable and detailed plans for implementing improvements in flaring. Those actions should improve compliance and drive further investment to better protect local communities.
“SEPA has a range of enforcement powers. I understand that the air quality monitoring equipment will remain in force and will be used throughout the process. My hope is that SEPA will not be required to use its enforcement powers and that ExxonMobil will move swiftly to implement the promised improvements”.
Speaking after Question Time, Ms Ewing said: “The news that £140million is to be invested in improving efficiency and reducing flaring at Mossmorran is very welcome indeed. As, of course, are the 850 temporary jobs that are anticipated will be associated with it.
“This really is a testament to a combination of concerted community effort and I can assure my constituents that I will be continuing to keep a very close eye on matters related to Mossmorran.”
The flaring following a breakdown at the plant at Easter saw over 2,000 complaints about flaring activities lodged with SEPA and a public meeting was called by the Mossmorran Action Group which saw upwards of 200 people attend at Lochgelly Town Hall.