The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is investigating the unplanned flaring incident at ExxonMobil’s petrochemicals facility in Scotland.
The “high volume flaring” at the Mossmorran Ethylene Plant in Fife started on Monday night as a result of a mechanical failure across boilers, resulting in a loss of steam generation.
Residents said they were unable to sleep due to “light pollution that turned night into day” as well as “extensive noise”.
SEPA convened a multi-agency group with Fife Council, NHS Fife and Health Protection Scotland yesterday and officers continued to monitor air quality and noise overnight and remain in the area today.
In a statement last evening, 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.”
ExxonMobil Plant Manager Jacob McAlister “apologised unreservedly” for any concern the event is causing.
He added: “Out first priority remains the safety of our people and our surrounding communities, followed closely by minimising the community impact of flaring.
“We are now developing plans to safely shut down plant operations to allow us to execute the necessary maintenance and eliminate flaring.”
The incident is separate to the annual planned maintenance and flaring by Shell, which shares the site and caused no reports of complaints from residents.