Excess flaring at Mossmorran gas plant sparks calls to fire service

Mossmorran flare as seen from Edinburgh.
Mossmorran glow: The night sky lit up with the excess flaring.Rob Wilkinson

Excess flaring from a gas plant in Fife after a "process upset" has sparked a number of calls to the fire service.

The incident on Thursday at Mossmorran in Cowdenbeath meant the ethylene plant had to be closed down for repairs. When the plant is closed, more gas is released through the stack and the flaring gets bigger.

The flame and its glow can be seen from parts of Edinburgh and the fire service had a number of calls from concerned members of the public overnight who thought a large fire was burning in the city.

A spokeswoman from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said they were always made aware of any excess flaring from Mossmorran or Grangemouth and dealt with calls appropriately.

But she stressed they would rather members of the public called 999 if they thought there was a fire.

ExxonMobil, who run the site, said the flaring will be bigger than usual for the next three days but said there is no danger to members of the public.

A spokesman for the company said: "ExxonMobil can confirm that there has been a process upset on the feed treatment unit at the Fife Ethylene Plant. This will result in elevated flaring for approximately 48-72 hours.

"We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and concern to the local community and reassure them that there is no risk to local community or staff at the plant.

"As per our normal emergency procedures, the emergency services have responded. Further information will be made available as soon as possible."