We must plan now for Mossmorran closure - says MSP

Unplanned flaring at Mossmorran perto chemical plant in Fife Sunday April 21 2019 (pic Neil Henderson)
Unplanned flaring at Mossmorran perto chemical plant in Fife Sunday April 21 2019 (pic Neil Henderson)

Calls have been made for thew Scottish Government to start panning now for the long-term closure of the troubled Mossmorran perto-chemical plant in Fife.

That’s the view of prominent Fife Green Party MSP Mark Ruskell, who this week called on the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham to prepare for the plant to be scrapped and to ensure a just transition so no workers are left behind during the process of the plants closure.

Mr Ruskell, a long-term objector to the plant, has accused its operators of lack of investment to secure the processing plant operates efficiently in the future.

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The closure call follows the latest in a series of unplanned flaring incidents at the plant which has raised tension with surrounding communities and brought growing calls from politicians for a full review operating procedures at the controversial site.

Mr Ruskell said: “There’s no sign from Mossmorran’s owners that they are prepared to invest to give the plant a future, so its becoming increasingly clear that it will need to shut down.

“A study into health impacts is important and despite commitments given to me from the Public Health Minister we see no progress, however continuing to stare at the problems Mossmorran creates doesn’t deal with the solution.

“We need to learn the lessons from Longannet and ensure that a long term plan to shut the site is started now, ensuring that no workers at the plant are left behind.

“The Just Transition Commission has been set up specifically to deal with these difficult long term questions about how changes can take place and should be brought in to discuss a future plan with unions, communities and the plant operators.”

Only last week Fife Council voted for an independent report to be commissioned which would look at the long term viability of closing the plant.

Meanwhile, at Hollyrood, Fife SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing pressed the case for a comprehensive inquiry into unplanned flaring during a question to Scottish Environment Minister.

Throughout the latest flaring incident, operator ExxonMobil have insisted that they are committed to improving operating and and safety procedures at Mossomorran and has stressed that there is no threat to the environment or health from the flaring process.