A major accidental release of potent greenhouse gases at a meat processing plant in Perth is being investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).
The watchdog said that the release of fluorinated gases by Anglo Beef Processors is the second largest accidental release in the food and drink sector in Europe.
It was caused by an issue with the plant’s refrigeration system and the release represented 87% of the total hydrofluoro-carbons emissions from all sectors in Scotland for 2021, Sepa said.
It resulted in a significant increase in the pollutant – around 112% – compared to 2020.
The environmental watchdog identified the issue in February and the investigation is currently ongoing.
Fluorinated gases, or f-gases, are man-made and are often used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in the likes of fridges and air conditioning units.
The plant has now installed alternative refrigeration technologies and Sepa’s Carbon reduction, Energy and Industry team will determine whether any enforcement action is required as a result of its findings.
An ABP spokesperson said: “This was an accidental release which occurred following machine failure and once we became aware of the problem, our team took the appropriate corrective action.
“A new refrigeration system has subsequently been installed. We are co-operating fully with Sepa as part of their review process.”