Environment watchdog ‘stands ready’ for Mossmorran start-up – Auto Republish

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Scotland’s environment watchdog said it stands ready for the restart of operations at Mossmorran.

Fife Ethylene Plant is due to begin using its elevated flare on Saturday and Sepa said it had a deployment of air quality, noise and regulatory monitoring in place.

Sepa also said its twin track approach to operator ExxonMobil Chemical continued, combining ongoing monitoring with work to address the causes of unacceptable flaring at the plant near Cowdenbeath.

The plant is booting up five months after shutting down following the failure of two boilers.

Sepa confirmed there had been no breach of air quality standards due to flaring at Mossmorran and that monitoring continued in multiple locations around the site.

It also said noise monitoring had been deployed in Lochgelly and at a residential location south-east of the plant, with extra mobile monitors ready if necessary.

Rob Morris, senior manager for compliance and beyond, said: “We’re clear that compliance with Scotland’s environmental rules is simply non-negotiable.

“That’s why we’re continuing our twin-track approach to ExxonMobil.  In addition to continuing our monitoring across the responsible restart of the facility, we’re firmly focused on addressing the root causes of unacceptable flaring.

“Public partners have been working closely together regarding the restart.

“With regulatory, air quality and noise monitoring officers working to ensure a responsible and reliable restart, we’ll provide regular updates and publish monitoring information as quickly as possible on social media and sepa.org.uk/mossmorran.”

An investigation by Sepa into unacceptable flaring from Fife Ethylene Plant in April last year is in its final stages.

For the restart, use of the elevated flare is planned from Saturday.

In a community update on Friday plant manager Jacob McAlister said: “We remain on schedule to begin the use of our elevated flare from tomorrow.

“The exact time is based on the arrival of the required feed gas.

“Our team are working hard to optimise the process with the aim of reducing flare size and duration. We will continue to provide updates over the weekend.”

Earlier in the week he explained that for a safe restart production furnaces and boilers had been brought into operation while using the ground flare.

An increase flow of gas from the St Fergus terminal, in Aberdeenshire, had been requested as the company prepared to start-up major process machines, he said.

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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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