Mossmorran set to flare for scheduled maintenance

Mossmorran will start flaring intermittently over the next 48 hours.

The petro-chemical plant needs to do it to prepare for a planned programme of maintenance.

Picture of flaring at Mossmorran which lit up the night skies above Fife and could be seen ass far as Edinburgh

Picture of flaring at Mossmorran which lit up the night skies above Fife and could be seen ass far as Edinburgh

The 48 hours of intermittent elevated flaring will begin around 4.00 pm on Tuesday, and again for around 24 hours on Friday, September 14 as the plant re-starts.

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The planned turnaround at the Shell plant will see the company reduce production operations over a few weeks to prioritise carrying out important, planned maintenance work.

The flaring happens most years at this time of year, and the company has advised local communities of it plans.

It said all measures would be taken to minimise any impact, but flaring should not be on the scale previously experienced in recent months.

A spokesman said: “This planned use of our flares is to fully remove hydrocarbons from one of our three modules to enable us to do thorough inspections and refurbishment.

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“During this Turnaround, we will empty the pipes and vessels of Module 3 in order to be able to work on them. We push as much of the product out of the lines as possible via normal processing routes, and what remains is then sent to flare.

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said it was “disappointing” the work coincided with children preparing for a return to school, adding: “Given the level of disruption that elevated flaring causes, especially at night, to say I’m concerned is something of an understatement.”

She added: “I’ve been in contact with Shell to express my concerns and the company has assured me that it will try and minimise elevated flaring overnight on Tuesday.

“In addition, I’ve been told that when elevated flaring does occur, the plant will aim to use less visible ground flares and limit use of the flare stack.

“Shell do not anticipate the level of flaring this week will be anywhere near the scale of what we witnessed last June, and I am sure everyone sincerely hopes that will be the case.”