Fifers facing up to 10 days of flaring at Mossmorran

Flaring to take place at Morssmorran plant. (pic Neil Gallacher).
Flaring to take place at Morssmorran plant. (pic Neil Gallacher).

Residents have been warned they could face up to 10 days of flaring at the Mossmorran gas processing plant in Fife, stating this weekend.

Shell UK has issued the alert to communities to expect periods of controlled flaring for a period of between four and 10 days starting on Sunday, February 3.

The flaring is to allow for essential maintenance work of the ExxonMobil controlled Fife Ethylene Plant.

A spokesman for Shell UK, said: “I would like to make residents and neighbours aware that flaring may be noticeable at times at Fife NGL for short periods during planned maintenance work due to be carried out at the neighbouring Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) operated by ExxonMobil.

“This is over an estimated period of four to 10 days from February 3 but we cannot be more specific than this.

“Shell UK has planned a significant reduction of capacity in the system that supplies the plants to allow for the FEP maintenance work to be done with as little flaring as possible.

“We are prioritising the use of two less visible Fife NGL ground flares, which both plants have use of, over elevated flaring (via flare stack).

“If there is a need to use the Fife NGL elevated flare during this time, it should be a smaller flame due to the low amounts of throughput.”

The controversial Mossmorran plant has faced a barrage of criticism from local community groups and politicians because of a number of unplanned flaring incidents at the site in the last two years.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has also conducted several independent investigations into unplanned flaring at the site and in April 2018 served Shell and ExxonMobil with final warning notices due to failings.

The spokesman for Shell UK added: “I can reassure you that flaring is an essential part of the plant’s safety systems, and we aim to minimise any disturbance. We have planned carefully for steady operations during the work.”