Residents were faced with disrupted sleep after Mossmorran unexpectedly flared in the early hours of Monday morning which painted the skies red.

In the small hours of Monday morning around 1am, some residents were abruptly woken by the Mossmorran petrochemical plant after an unknown emergency at the plant forced the operators to begin flaring.

The flaring process does not appear to be routine as no prior notification has been given to communities surrounding the petrochemical processing plant, Mossmorran.

Chemical Engineer Prateek Kumar, a former Process Design engineer with Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) working on Shell licensed technologies including Hydrocarbon-processing explains:

“The tower that has a constant burning flame is called a Flare Stack. In very simple terms, it is just like the burner of a gas stove with a controlled burning of natural gas though its pilot burners. It is the last line of safety/defence for refineries, petrochemical and gas processing plants. Whenever there is an upset or an emergency situation, all the extremely flammable hydrocarbons need to be vented out. But these cannot be just put in the atmosphere like the steam from our food pressure cookers. A vapor cloud would be extremely hazardous and catastrophic. To ensure that these escaping gases get burned to Carbon dioxide and water vapor, a flame is always kept burning on the top. It is a necessary evil (waste of gas).”

Despite the flaring a necessary process to keep local communities safe, residents are required to tolerate excessive light and noise pollution which can impact negatively on their health and well being.

Noise pollution has been directly linked with a range of negative impacts including stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference and hearing loss.

Light pollution disrupts the circadian rhythm (our biological clock), disrupting this process creates an increased risk for cancers including breast cancers.

With excessive flaring continuing non-stop today as of 2:30pm, operators of the Mossmorran Petrochemical plant have still to provide any update to local communities.

Details of the initial emergency that triggered the flaring event are unknown and no information has been provided for the expected duration of the flaring process.

The steps that the plant operators will undertake to ensure communities are adequately compensated for the risk to local health and well-being is also unknown.

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  1. Eileen McKenna

    June 12, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I moved house to get away from the noise and flaring at mossmorran. From Andrew St, down to Lumphinnans Road. Only good thing is I don’t see the flaring unless I look up and see the sky throbbing BUT sadly I can’t get away from the NOISE even with doors shut and telly on we have to live with this WHY !


  2. […] 12th June 2017. Details of the flaring event can be found on the Loch of Shining Waters website: Mossmorran emergency flare disrupts residents and ExxonMobil apologises for “process […]


  3. JB

    June 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    We live in Dundonald Cardenden and the constant noise sounds like jets taking off or large helicopters approaching. It’s a disgrace that the public have not been suitably informed about this latest flare up.


  4. Har

    June 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I stay in finglassie and as jb says its like a helicopters approaching its so anoying every day. Why does the company in charge not let the public know what the truth is going on.


  5. MAM

    June 15, 2017 at 6:27 am

    It was really loud last night and you could feel the vibration. I live several miles away and it is keeping me awake and giving me a headache. They need to tell us what is going on and how long it will last.


  6. True Lochgelly man.

    June 28, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Has there ever been samples taken from the thick black smoke, where the chemists from Mossmoran and Fife health board, have both taken them at the same time and had them analyzed?
    A third party which would be agreed by both would give an analysis as well.
    The result would be interesting i would imagine.
    As for the noise pollution… analysis required, it is what it is, pollution.


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