Fire-hit battery recycling plant has licence suspended

A large scale blaze broke out on the site of Fenix Battery Recycling in Kilwinning on Monday, April 8.

Scotland’s environmental regulator has suspended the licence of a battery recycling site after a fire that “sounded like a terror attack” broke out last month.

Emergency services were called to Fenix Battery Recycling on Byrehill Place in Kilwinning on April 8 after the fire took hold.

Hundreds of residents within an evacuation zone were forced to leave their homes while others were told to stay indoors, and keep their windows closed while the fire was brought under control.

Six fire engines and a height appliance were sent to the scene and remained there until the afternoon of Friday, April 12.

Almost two months on from the blaze, two enforcement notices have been served by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) requiring Fenix Battery Recycling Ltd to remove waste batteries that have been on the site at West Byrehill Industrial Estate for longer than six months.

Fenix Battery Recycling on Byrehill Place in Kilwinning.STV News

As the agency suspended the firm’s approval as an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO), no waste can be accepted, stored or treated by the company.

SEPA says it has issued the enforcement actions following both non-compliance with licence conditions and site infrastructure being destroyed by the fire.

They said continuing to carry on the licensed activities at the site in its current condition would be considered a risk which could cause serious pollution of the environment and serious harm to human health.

Lin Bunten, SEPA chief operating officer, regulation, business, and environment, said: “The package of enforcement action we have set out is in response to a significant incident and designed to protect the environment and communities in the area surrounding the Fenix Battery Recycling Ltd site in Kilwinning.

“The decision to suspend a licence is never taken lightly, but it is one of the enforcement tools we have available and one we will use when we believe it is required to prevent risk of harm to the environment.

“The operator is required to remove the waste which breaches licence conditions offsite to an appropriately licensed facility by the dates we have set out in the Enforcement Notices.

“The suspension of the Waste Management Licence (WML) will remain in place until we are satisfied that the conditions as specified in the suspension notice have been adhered to – which include requirements concerning site infrastructure, a fire prevention and mitigation plan and fire detection system.

“We partially suspended Fenix Battery Recycling Ltd’s licence last year when it failed to comply with a previous enforcement notice we served. This prevented them receiving any more special waste on site after 17.00 hours on November 3, 2023. We will not hesitate to take further action, in line with our enforcement policy, as required.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code