Flaring at Fife’s controversial Mossmorran chemical plant will start to reduce on Wednesday, bosses have said.
Plant manager Jacob McAlister said the process to safely shut down the operation had started to allow maintenance on two broken boilers.
Arrangements to reduce the flow of gas coming from the North Sea have also been made, which will allow workers to take furnaces out of operations.
“These steps will also start the gradual reduction of the flare,” Mr McAlister said.
He added that further updates would be given to the community as the process moved forward, including timescales to fully stop the flaring.
The petrochemicals plant was forced to apologise to communities on Tuesday after the failure of two of the three boilers led to another day of intense flaring.
The flaring happened just hours after letters signed by Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Labour MP Lesley Laird, as well as Labour, Conservative and Green politicians, were sent to environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham urging her to reconsider the decision not to have an independent inquiry.
The letters also called into question the ability of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) to regulate the site near Cowdenbeath.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are clear that prolonged, unplanned flaring is unacceptable.
“Sepa is currently responding to the latest flaring incident and carrying out a formal investigation into prolonged, unplanned flaring earlier this year.
“We are awaiting the conclusion of this investigation before deciding on the most appropriate course of action.”
ExxonMobil, which operates the huge Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran, has also apologised to residents for the flaring, which can be seen from several miles away.