Anger as flaring begins again at Mossmorran

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Communities are again enduring a day of intense flaring and vibration from the Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran.

Furious locals have reported their door frames shaking as a result of the latest incident, which began on Friday morning.

The problem, blamed by plant managers on a “mechanical issue”, comes less than two months after six days of flaring during which black smoke was seen belching from the site.

Manager Jacob McAlister said it was hoped normal operations would resume by the end of the day.

Local councillor Darren Watt described Friday’s issue as “beyond ridiculous”.

“What’s it going to take?” he said.

“We, as local members, and Fife Council have taken it as high as we can.

“We have asked the Scottish Government to fund an independent impact study and they need to give assurances they will be taking this forward.”

The Conservative councillor added: “It’s frustrating to see this yet again.

“It’s like deja vu.”

Mr Watt said he had driven past the plant on Friday morning and claimed the flare was “ridiculously high”.

“It’s very intense and there is this horrendous rumbling noise. You can literally feel it,” he said.

Cowdenbeath is due to host its annual gala day on Saturday and Mr Watt added: “Let’s hope this is over by then.

“What a backdrop that would be.”

James Glen, chairman of the Mossmorran Action Group, which allows the public to share concerns about the 30-year-old plant, branded the new incident disgraceful.

“It’s another unplanned incident so soon after the previous one and residents have had enough,” he said.

The plant was the subject of an angry public meeting last month during which people said they had no trust in its operation following frequent bouts of pollution, noise, light and vibration.

In a statement, Mr McAllister said: “As a result of a mechanical issue, we are operating our elevated flares at FEP.

“Our teams have quickly identified the cause and we are confident that we will return to normal operations later today.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing and would like to assure everyone that there is no danger to our communities or staff on site.”

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