Mossmorran gas plant will be “closely monitored” to ensure disruptive flaring is kept to a minimum following a major upgrade at the site.
The ExxonMobil plant recently re-opened after £140 million work including installing a flare tip, which it is hoped will reduce noise pollution produced by the facility.
‘Misery’ for residents
Neighbours previously claimed the flaring caused “misery and disruption” to their community, forcing the gas and energy giant to take action.
They have claimed the noise-reducing tip should cut down the disruption faced by residents, however they have been warned that there may be some “intermittent use” of the flare.
SEPA ‘pleased to see installation’
However, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) bosses have said they plan to pay close attention to the gas plant to ensure flaring is kept to a minimum.
Scientific and regulatory staff will both be present at the site and regular updates are to be posted to SEPA’s Mossmorran hub.
Terry A’Hearn, SEPA chief executive, said: “At SEPA we’re pleased to see the installation of the noise reducing flare tip we required through a variation to the site’s permit.
“This is a major milestone on the pathway to compliance, but is just one important step towards a future with less flaring and less impact for communities when flaring is required.
“We will be closely monitoring how the restart is carried out.
“There are future improvements to come at the site, one of which is ExxonMobil installing a new totally enclosed ground flare in 2022.
“Specialist SEPA officers will continue to engage with the operator to ensure this work can go ahead as planned.
“Communities across Fife have the right to a future where flaring is the exception rather than routine.
“Robust regulation takes time but through our work, and the significant investment by site operators, a clear pathway to compliance is now in sight for local communities who can be assured of our continued vigilance over this important period and beyond.”