Mossmorran closure demanded amid plant maintenance fears
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.”
Flaring at Mossmorran in October last year.