SEPA monitoring latest unplanned flaring at Mossmorran

Unplanned flaring is once again taking place at Mossmorran
Unplanned flaring is once again taking place at Mossmorran

Scottish environment watchdog SEPA has convened a multi-agency group following the latest unplanned flaring at Mossmorran.

A statement issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on its website this afternoon states SEPA is working alongside Fife Council, NHS Fife and Health Protection Scotland.

The unplanned flaring started at the Fife Ethylene Plant late on Monday night after a mechanical failure across two of the ExxonMobil plant’s three boilers resulted in a loss of steam generation.

The statement from SEPA said: “We have made clear that ExxonMobil must take steps to minimise the impact of flaring that is currently ongoing and which is expected to continue across the evening.

“Specialist teams are monitoring air quality and, as with previous incidents, will monitor noise across evenings in line with evidential monitoring standards.

“Initial air quality monitoring continues to be in line with previous monitoring and shows no cause for concern.

“The focus of a live regulatory review, officers are currently gathering data to an evidential standard.

“A current ‘Best Available Techniques’ assessment and operating permit variations will drive action and flaring mitigation investment at the facility.

“SEPA expects to announce more in the coming weeks.”

Jacob McAlister, plant manager at FEP, said in Exxonmobil’s latest community statement that workers are progressing with the unit shut down to enable engineers to evaluate the root cause and carry out necessary repairs.

He said: “Flaring will be required while our team take the steps required to safely shut down operations.

“We will always work to minimise the timelines, and will update you as these are confirmed.

“We, again, apologise if flaring is causing any concern but reiterate that the process is safe and poses

no risk to communities.”