Environment watchdog backs Mossmorran plans to limit flaring ahead of £140m upgrade

Scotland’s environment watchdog has welcomed the plans in place ahead of a planned stand down of Mossmorran’s giant petrochemical plant which will result in some flaring.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:58 am

Fife Ethylene Plant needs to make the move ahead of a £140m upgrade - and it starts on Monday.

Operators, ExxonMobil and Shell, have told communities there will be some flaring, but their plans have the approval of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

ExxonMobil said it will stop flaring after Monday - the size of the flare will also decrease relatively quickly - and then use ground flares for around two days.

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Flaring at Mossmorran

At Fife NGL, Shell plans to use its elevated flare for low volumes of ethane between April 11-15, and then the ground flares between the 15th-18th.

It will also use its elevated flare for low volumes of ethane through next month.

SEPA said it was fully engaged with the companies.

It said it was “content that plans are in place to minimise the impacts on local residents and businesses.

It expects ExxonMobil to keep the duration and rate of flaring as low as possible and will have specialist regulatory and scientific staff deployed in local communities. Noise and air quality monitoring will also continue.

Terry A’Hearn, chief executive officer, said: “The £140m upgrade of the ExxonMobil Chemical Limited Fife Ethylene Plant, together with our ongoing stringent regulatory requirements and permit variations, will significantly improve the reliability of the Fife Ethylene Plant, reducing the requirement for flaring and significantly reducing the community impact of flaring when it does occur.”

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