Mossmorran: Greens call for an urgent summit over Scotland gas plant to avoid repeating mistakes of Grangemouth

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Greens say the fact workers in Grangemouth don’t know the future of their jobs shows they are not being considered in Scotland’s just transition

Energy giants are being told to hold an “urgent summit” on the future of the Mossmorran gas plant, after the announcement the nearby Grangemouth oil refinery is to close.

Last month Petroineos said it was closing Scotland’s last remaining oil refinery by 2025 and turning the facility into a fuel import terminal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, MSPs sitting on Holyrood’s economy and fair work committee say staff at the plant have “effectively been told their job is on a timer”.

Grangemouth petrochemical plant. Image: Jane Barlow/Press Association.Grangemouth petrochemical plant. Image: Jane Barlow/Press Association.
Grangemouth petrochemical plant. Image: Jane Barlow/Press Association.

The Scottish Greens have declared this shows workers are not being included in Scotland’s just transition away from fossil fuels to renewables.

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said an urgent summit must now be held to make sure the same thing does not happen at the Mossmorran gas plant, situated 25 miles away from Grangemouth.

The Mossmorran petrochemical site in Fife, which includes Shell’s natural gas liquids plant and ExxonMobil’s ethylene plant, employs around 250 people.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Ruskell said: “The shock announcement over Grangemouth’s refinery shows the dangers of any change that is not planned without workers, their unions and the community involved.

ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. Image: Jane Barlow/Johnston Press.ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. Image: Jane Barlow/Johnston Press.
ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran. Image: Jane Barlow/Johnston Press.

“We cannot and must not take risks with Mossmorran.

“There are credible plans on the table to decarbonise the plant, there is a way to make this happen – but we need all the relevant parties to recommit to its future.”

Mr Ruskell is due to lead a members’ debate on this issue in the Scottish Parliament next month.

He said: “This time last year I published research that outlined just how a just transition plan involving workers, unions, the Scottish Government and operators ExxonMobil and Shell could be made to work for the site, ending its unenviable status as one of Scotland’s biggest polluters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Then in August I wrote to both firms urging them to commit to a clear investment timetable to decarbonise Mossmorran for the benefits of its workers, its future operations and for the community around it.

“Given the news from Grangemouth, it should be clear an urgent commitment for Mossmorran is needed, and I would urge all those with a stake to get around the table with me so that a plan for decarbonising the site can be explored at pace in the new year.”

Earlier this year around 200 workers walked out of the ExxonMobil petrochemical plant at Mossmorran over health and safety warnings. Environmental regulator Sepa ordered Shell to upgrade its flare system by the end of 2025 to keep up with industry standards.

Both Mossmorran and Petroineos Grangemouth have been approached for comment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Around 2,000 people are directly employed at Grangemouth, with 500 of these at the refinery. Petroineos – a joint venture between Beijing state energy firm PetroChina and Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos – said a number of employees would remain following the move to an import-only terminal.

However, it is thought around 400 jobs could be lost, with potentially thousands more to be impacted across the supply chain.

The Grangemouth refinery processes 39 million barrels of crude oil a year – more than a third of that extracted from the North Sea.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.