Mossmorran flaring to last for five days

Flaring at Mossmorran.
Flaring at Mossmorran.

Mossmorran is flaring for five straight days, while work is carried out on the Fife Ethylene Plant.

The flaring started this morning and follows a period on Saturday afternoon.

In a letter addressed to community members in the area, Plant Manager Jacob McAlister said the work would see a section of pipe replaced.

He wrote: “To allow us to safely conduct work to replace a section of pipe at the Fife Ethylene Plant, our elevated flare will be in operation from tomorrow for a period anticipated to be no more than five days.

To actively minimise amenity impact, we have taken the significant step of reducing gas input to the plant to ensure the flare is operating with a reduced volume. We will also work round theclock to complete this essential work as safely and quickly as possible.

“While absolutely understanding that flaring can cause community concern, I believe we share the same commitment to continued safe operations and that this should always be the overriding priority.

“I can reassure you that flaring is a safe and permitted part of the plant’s safety and operating systems, and allows us to maintain steady operations during the work.

“SEPA, HSE and other regulatory and stakeholder partners have been advised.

“For information about flaring at FEP please visit our website, or Email: fep@exxonmobil.com.

“As we have always indicated, we strive to avoid the use of flaring but there is a need to do so on this occasion. We apologise to anyone concerned by the flaring, and thank our local communities for their patience and understanding.

“We will keep you fully updated on progress with this essential work.”

James Glen of Mossmorran Action Group said: “We’re grateful ExxonMobil has notified us about 5 days of flaring, but their statement raises more questions than it answers.

“What exactly is the maintenance issue? Is it related to the ethane leak, the flaring this weekend or is it another emergency?

“If it is a genuinely planned shutdown, why didn’t ExxonMobil inform the politicians and community reps on Friday when they attended the latest meeting of Lesley Laird’s Mossmorran working group?

“As flaring is becoming ever more frequent, people are left wondering whether the plant is now too old and rickety to run safely.”

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