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A major change has taken place at the Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran with the appointment of a new plant manager.
Martin Burrell has come full circle after more than three decades working with ExxonMobil, returning to the Kingdom to replace Jacob McAlister, who is taking up a senior rolein the United States.
News of the appointment comes at a difficult time at the chemical complex following the fourth unscheduled period of flaring this year, which has prompted calls for the plant’s short, medium and long-term future to be mapped out more clearly.
Hundreds of complaints about the site’s impacts on neighbouring residents have been lodged with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), while the Crown Office is also considering whether or not the site’s operators should be prosecuted following the flaring incidents.
More than 700 complaints following three ‘appalling, sleepless’ nights due to Mossmorran flaring
Mr Burrell started his career as an engineer at Mossmorran in 1985 when the plant was just starting to produce its first ethylene.
He said: “I am returning to where I began my career at an important time when we are investing significantly in the future of the plant.
“We are clear we need to further improve our operational reliability and are committed to doing that.
“I know the plant’s potential for strong reliability and I am confident that our £140m additional investment, which is due to begin in April, will move us firmly towards realising that.
“I am committed to safe and reliable operations and look forward to leading our dedicated and skilled team here at FEP.
“When I last worked at FEP, I remember our motto of ‘We care, because we live and work here too’. This is as true now as it was then.
“Throughout our forthcoming work and looking to the future, I want to continue to work with our host communities to be as good a neighbour as possible.”
Through a career spanning 35 years with ExxonMobil, Mr Burrell has spent more than 20 years in front line operational and leadership roles at plants in Gravenchon in France and Fawley in Hampshire, as well as a further five year period at FEP.
In addition, he has held a number of senior commercial and business development roles in Brussels, London and the United States.
Mr Burrell, a chemical engineer and Heriot-Watt University graduate, has taken the reins from Mr McAlister, who is returning to his native Houston, Texas.