Mossmorran: partial shutdown at plant for maintenance work as flaring ends

Maintenance work at Mossmorran, which led to a partial shutdown of the plant and signs of flaring that could be seen across the Forth, has now been completed.
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But Kirkcaldy MP, Neale Hanvey, has written to the Scottish Government asking for further details about claims a pipe had been breached.

The Fife Ethylene Plant, operated by Exxon Mobil, has returned to normal operations after it lit up the night skies across the Kingdom. Its new ground flares meant the impact was not on the same scale as previous flaring, but could still be seen from Edinburgh.A spokesman for FEP said: “We started the maintenance work and entered the flare on Tuesday and completed the work and exited the flare on Thursday.

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“We pro-actively communicated to communities at the start of last week - direct and via Twitter - that we were conducting some planned maintenance work over 48hrs and that we would be using our Enclosed Ground Flare (EGF) to assist. The work was safely completed within that time frame.”Mossmorran said the glow was something it openly advised might be seen, particularly with low cloud. There was no exposed flame, or any vibration or noise to minimise disturbance to nearby residents – an issue which has previously sparked a backlash.

ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. (PIc: TSPL)ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. (PIc: TSPL)
ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. (PIc: TSPL)

A spokesperson for SEPA said it was aware of the “recent partial shutdown” and flaring activity.

They added: “SEPA requires operators to provide a full report following environmental incidents. Following receipt, the report will be fully reviewed to understand both the nature and impact of the event, and the response by the operator. We note repair works have been completed and the site has returned to normal operations.”