Moss­mor­ran clo­sure de­manded amid plant main­te­nance fears

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

Moss­mor­ran chem­i­cal plant should be closed for proper main­te­nance, the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment was told, amid al­le­ga­tions of cor­ner-cut­ting.

Dur­ing a de­bate in Holy­rood, MSPs claimed that op­er­a­tors had failed to prop­erly look af­ter the plant built near Cow­den­beath more than 30 years ago.

Con­cerns have grown about the fre­quency of un­planned flar­ing at Fife Ethy­lene Plant, op­er­ated by ExxonMo­bil Chem­i­cal, and Shell UK’s Fife NGL Plant.

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scot­land and Fife, said for­mer em­ploy­ees of op­er­a­tor ExxonMo­bil Chem­i­cal told him of a “cor­ner-cut­ting cul­ture” at Exxon.

He said: “It’s clear the in­crease in flar­ing has hap­pened be­cause Exxon will not shut the plant down for longer pe­ri­ods to al­low for proper main­te­nance and in­vest­ment.

“There needs to be ac­tion, Moss­mor­ran needs to be shut for proper main­te­nance or it needs to be forced to shut.”

En­vi­ron­ment watch­dog Sepa is­sued final warn­ings to both op­er­a­tors last June and has launched a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion with the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive.

Since then, un­planned flar­ing, a safety mech­a­nism em­ployed dur­ing break­downs, has oc­curred three more times, most re­cently in May.

Many in sur­round­ing towns and vil­lages are wor­ried about the en­vi­ron­men­tal and health im­pact and suf­fer se­vere dis­rup­tion from the light, noise and vi­bra­tion.

En­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has set a strong frame­work for the reg­u­la­tion of in­dus­trial sites and takes the re­cent sit­u­a­tion at Moss­mor­ran ex­tremely se­ri­ously.”

Pic­ture: Steven Brown.

Flar­ing at Moss­mor­ran in Oc­to­ber last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.