Bosses at the Mossmorran plant have been asked to minimise planned flaring this week to avoid disruption to pupils returning to school.
Shell intends to start preparations for a turnaround at the plant, which will see production operations reduced over a few weeks to allow planned maintenance work to go ahead.
Locals have been warned the operation will result in 48 hours of intermittent elevated flaring that started on Tuesday afternoon. More flaring is due to take place for 24 hours when a module is restarted on Friday September 14.
However, Labour Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird has urged the firm to bear in mind that families are likely to have enough on their plates with the end of the school holidays.
“While I appreciate that it’s not always in the control of the plant to decide when to time these operations, it is still disappointing that this maintenance programme coincides with children returning to school,” she said.
“Given the level of disruption that elevated flaring causes, especially at night, to say I’m concerned is something of an understatement.”
She added: “I’ve been in contact with Shell to express my concerns and the company has assured me that it will try to minimise elevated flaring overnight on Tuesday.
“In addition, I’ve been told that when elevated flaring does occur, the plant will aim to use less visible ground flares and limit use of the flare stack.
“Shell do not anticipate the level of flaring this week will be anywhere near the scale of what we witnessed last June, and I am sure everyone sincerely hopes that will be the case.”
Earlier this year Shell and ExxonMobil were hit with final warning letters following a serious flaring incident at the Cowdenbeath plant in June 2017.
Shell has already alerted the local community to the planned work at the Fife NGL plant.
Plant manager Teresa Waddington said the activity took place most years at this time and was “part of running a well maintained site, as well as ensuring safe operations and the integrity and longevity of the plant as a vital piece of North Sea energy supply infrastructure”.
She added: “Please be reassured that we will take measures to minimise the impact, and there is no risk to the local community.
“We aim to manage operations so as to use our less visible ground flares and limit use of the elevated flare stack.”
Shell has informed its neighbours ExxonMobil Fife Ethylene Plant and environmental watchdog the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
A spokesman for Shell said: “We try to minimise flaring as much as possible and particularly overnight.”