Issues at Mossmorran have sparked further alarm for Central Fife communities after the plant unexpectedly began to flare again, dispersing a large cloud of black smoke and pollutants.

Mossmorran emitted a large cloud of black smoke sometime after 7pm on Sunday evening, causing alarm to residents in the Central Fife area, who took to social media to express their concern.

Residents had been recovering from the onslaught of flaring, noise, light and vibration since early Monday morning. The only information provided to residents from ExxonMobil was that the plant was suffering from a “process upset”.

Early reports about the current flaring incident indicate that firefighters have responded but no final reports as to the nature, cause or expected duration of the incident have been issued.

The black smoke is an indication that hydrocarbons have not been fully combusted, and the emission is likely to contain volatile organic compounds which are known to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory problems. Other emissions may include the hydrocarbons benzene and toluene which are known to be carcinogenic.

Images captured by residents

Local responses

Residents have informed us that they have been in touch with local councillors after the recent flaring events. No responses have been forthcoming.

Councillor Rosemary Liewald posted a public statement from ExxonMobil on the 14th June on her official Facebook page. A resident responded asking for information on who to contact with their concerns, which the councillor ignored. There is no indication that any local councillor is actively pursuing this issue despite the exceptional nature of these emergency flaring events and the widespread concern that is being expressed on social media.

Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath Community Councils have completely blanked the issue, even though they will (presumably) have received press releases from ExxonMobil.

Meanwhile there have been reports from residents alleging that they have been able to smell the burning, and in one case a strong smell of gas.

Photo/Video Credits & Copyright: Craig Fairhurst, Keith Annandale, Kevin Payne, Johnny Schiavone, Gary McDonald, John Rowley, Paul Irvine, Dave Connor, ChucklesLeVert, Peter Allan

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Loch of Shining Waters
Load More In Community


  1. […] […]


  2. andrew

    June 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    i have made an official complaint to our local mp and to sepa, this needs to stop, the plant mangement continue to trivialise the situation with wording such as “a plant upset” what they mean is a major failing in the plants systems and the last line of defence (the flare) is brought into action, has anyone ever considered that ultimately one day the flare may also fail, lets face it they cant do anything else right !

    everyone needs to pull together now, contact your mp, sepa and show how outraged you are, write to the first minister, ask ehr if she’d care to grace our community halls one evening to tell us what she and the scottish government intend to do.

    why was a plant designed where the suppply could not be shut off ? and how many years have they had to design a system that could be wthout flaring ? the answer is they never will because as long as they have a license to operate from our government any amount of fines they gather over the years is chicken feed to the company and a lot less expense than redesign and fix the problem ?
    enfd of the day the dont care about the community, they supply a few refuse bins in the high street and donate to a few local charities but more importantly fund events for the community ir galas community sponsorship etc that makes your local community committee feel great about themselves and have the coffers for the next years festivities….wake up people

    insist on a public meeting locally to let your councillors know they have been found wanting- in fact insist on a full public enquiry by the Scottish government


  3. Alan melville

    June 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Shut this down NOW local residents should block the gate and demand this plant is closed .
    This black smoke is pure toxic and is being pumped in to the local atmosphere .
    There is serious failing here so where is sepa ?
    Stop ignoring the concerns of ordinary people
    Three greedy people care NOTHING for local people wildlife or the envoirment it’s all about money
    They will run a dangerous plant risking health and life


Leave a Reply

All fields are optional. You do not have to use your real name, pseudonyms are accepted.

I accept the Privacy Policy

Check Also

What happened to the path through Cowdenbeath Golf Course to Lochgelly since 24-06-2020

The two photos in the picture where taken 3 months apart. From a video I took on the 24/06…