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“PATIENCE is understandably wearing thing”, local MP Neale Hanvey today warned ExxonMobil following the flaring on Sunday and Monday at Mossmorran.
The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath said ExxonMobil had to do more to avoid unnecessary flaring at the Fife Ethylene Plant and keep the community updated as “patience is wearing thin”.
Mr Hanvey, is furious following further unplanned flaring at the Ethylene plant that resulted in significant light and noise pollution in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area over two days.
And the MP was left dismayed following a meeting with senior figures at The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on Monday who were unable to provide detailed information about why the flaring had occurred.
SEPA reiterated that there had been no negative impact on air quality and other monitoring data was currently being reviewed, although environment chiefs expressed their frustration at the ‘frequency of flaring and the flow of information from the operator’.
The local MP has now contacted ExxonMobil to request an urgent meeting to get answers about the unplanned flaring that continued into Monday night as the plant prepared to restart.
Commenting, Neale Hanvey said: “We need answers from Exxon about why people in my constituency are again having to face sleepless nights with the appalling noise, light, and vibrations coming out of Mossmorran.
“I’ve tried to be as fair and balanced as possible, but patience is understandably wearing thin. I share the frustrations of the 380 people who submitted complaints to SEPA, and the many more who are sick of unplanned flaring at the site.
“The folk at SEPA tell me it’s going to take time to unpick the reasons for this flaring incident. That’s because Exxon is giving minimal information about what is happening at the site. This is not good enough.
“I want my constituency to benefit from a well-functioning site that protects high-value jobs, but it’s increasingly hard to make that argument when we have such regular flaring and little information coming out about the reasons why.
“The community needs answers. I suggest to the folk at Exxon that it’s in their interests to give them.”
Plant boss Jacob McAlister said on Monday night: “Having replaced the faulty part on our compressor, which caused the breakdown, we have taken the time required to conduct comprehensive electrical, mechanical and system checks to ensure we return to normal production safely and
“We do understand community frustration, but we assure you that we have been working around the clock to resolve this matter and re-start the machine as soon as possible. During the re-start procedure, people may have seen some fluctuations in the elevated flare but have been taking alpossible steps to minimise the size of the flare wherever possible.”