THE flaring at the Fife Ethylene Plant on Sunday saw a pall of black smoke hanging over the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area.

Yesterday at 1.20pm the operators sent the following statement out: "ExxonMobil Chemical Limited would like to apologise to our local communities for any disturbance caused as a result of the flaring which is occurring today at the Fife Ethylene Plant, Mossmorran.

"The flaring is a result of a process disruption. Our teams are working to address this and to resume normal operations as soon as possible and we will provide further updates in due course.

"The flare is an essential part of the plant’s systems and there is no danger to the local communities or staff onsite. We would like to assure you safety and environmental protections are our highest priorities and that we will be working to minimise flaring as much as possible".

The lack of steam input led to the thick black smoke which caused considerable concern to the public. The system which provides the steam was re-instated which later led to the smoke being removed.