A "MECHANICAL issue" has led to more unplanned flaring at the ExxonMobil site at Mossmorran this morning.

The flame can be seen above the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) trying to find out more information.

Jacob McAlister, plant manager, said: “As a result of a mechanical issue, we are operating our elevated flare at FEP.

"Our teams have quickly identified the cause and we are confident that we will return to normal operations later today.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing and would like to assure everyone that there is no danger to our communities or staff on site.” 

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: "I am aware of flaring taking place this morning at Mossmorran.

"I have been called by Sepa who have confirmed that they are also aware after they were advised by ExxonMobil at 10am.

"Officers are currently being sent to the site. I am in the process of contacting ExxonMobil for more information."

On Twitter she also used the hashtags #dissapointing and #Groundhogday.

A statement from Sepa said: "Sepa is aware of unplanned flaring at ExxonMobil, Mossmorran.

"Sepa officers are responding and seeking to establish further information. We'll provide updates on social media and http://sepa.org.uk/mossmorran."

Cowdenbeath MSP, Annabelle Ewing, said: “As soon as I learned that unplanned flaring had started again at ExxonMobil’s Mossmorran plant I contacted Sepa to express my very serious concerns and to raise some important questions about how the incident will be handled.

“I want Sepa to confirm that they are – or very soon will be – carrying on-site testing of the flare emissions, something that they failed to do at the previous incident at Easter when we saw a delay in such testing.

“Further to that, I want to know what Sepa is doing to ensure that the operator brings this incident to an end as soon as possible and that they will launch a further formal regulatory investigation into this incident.

“Coincidentally, I learned of this flaring as I came from the regular quarterly meeting between NHS Fife and elected representatives where I had specifically asked for Mossmorran to be on the agenda and we had a discussion on NHS Fife’s response to the unplanned flaring incident at Easter.

“My office has been in contact with both ExxonMobil and Sepa and I understand that Sepa officers are en route, that there will be an assessment group meeting with Fife Council and NHS Fife and that there will be further updates via social media.

“I can assure my constituents who live in the vicinity of Mossmorran that I will continue to push, poke, prod and question on this issue until we reach a resolution with which I am satisfied. 

Warnings are not sufficient, my constituents require effective action that safeguards their environment, their health and their quality of life.”