ExxonMobil announces investment at Fife ethylene plant. “Public concerns still being ignored” say Action Group

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Mossmorran, Fife – ExxonMobil said today it plans to launch a £140 million additional investment program over the next two years at its Fife ethylene plant to upgrade key infrastructure and introduce new technologies that will significantly improve operational reliability and performance.

  • £140 million investment through 2019 and 2020 will support 850 local construction jobs
  • Additional investment will improve plant reliability and reduce frequency of flaring

“These planned investments demonstrate our commitment to long-term reliable operations at the site.” said Jacob McAlister, plant manager at the Fife ethylene plant. “While already one of the most modern plants of its kind in Europe, we are always looking for ways to improve reliability and efficiency through continued maintenance and investment in new technologies. Fife has a long-term future as a competitive asset, contributing to both the local and national economies.”

A portion of the £140 million investment will go toward technologies that reduce the impact of flaring, including a state-of-the-art flare tip, which will reduce noise and vibration.

But James Glen, chair of Mossmorran Action Group, commented: “Scottish Government Ministers, from Nicola Sturgeon downwards, have consistently refused to meet residents affected by Mossmorran’s operations and boycotted public meetings where concerns have been aired. Their excuse is that such meetings could compromise possible enforcement action by SEPA.

“Now we learn that there have been meetings between ExxonMobil and Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse who went on the record on in Parliament, expressing the hope that ‘SEPA will not be required to use its enforcement powers’.

“If this isn’t a direct attempt to pressurise SEPA to go easy on ExxonMobil in the interests of the petrochemical industry, I don’t know what is.

“Communities around Mossmorran, whose suffering the Scottish Government has blanked for years, will now be wondering whose side their Government is on.”

He added: “It would be good to know how much of the £140m planned expenditure is just to bring the plant up to a reasonable safety standard.

“We have been promised flaring tips before and these never reduced the levels of flaring and the noise impacts.

“So the communities will wait with bated breath to see if this is an improvement.”

 

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