Fife Ethylene Plant Enclosed Ground Flare planning approval
The granting of planning approval for a new Enclosed Ground Flare (EGF) has been welcomed by Fife Ethylene Plant.
The EGF, which is scheduled to be available for use by the end of next year, is designed to cut the use of the elevated flare by at least 98 per cent and reduce noise, light and vibration sometimes associated with its use.
Council planners granted permission for the installation of the EGF last week after months of development work by technical experts at the ExxonMobil plant at Mossmorran.
The Council said the approval “would result in an upgrading of a key safety mechanism” and “would limit the adverse environmental impact currently experienced during elevated flaring episodes by reducing noise levels from those typically encountered at present.”
Preparation work for the EGF was also carried out as part of the recent £140m plant upgrade, keeping the unit on schedule for operation by end of 2022.
The EGF is being designed and manufactured by Zeeco. Its CEO, Darton Zink, said: “The EGF stands at the forefront of the latest advancements in proven flaring technology. Its design differs greatly from the existing flares at Mossmorran in that the flame itself is enclosed and will not be visible.”
Martin Burrell, plant manager at FEP said the work carried out as part of the planning process had been extremely thorough.
“As part of our application we provided a range of assessments describing the impact of the new Enclosed Ground Flare,” he explained
“As expected, noise modelling showed the EGF would bring “considerable improvement” particularly at low frequency, one of the main things highlighted by neighbouring communities, and independent air quality modelling confirmed that the EGF will continue to have no impact on local air quality standards.
“Flood assessment demonstrated that there was no additional flood risk, and a landscape assessment concluded the EGF will not stand out in the landscape.
“The ecology report prepared by an external ecologist surveyed the site for endangered wildlife, this included water samples to look for Great Crested Newts.
“All of these we conducted in support of the planning application demonstrated the overwhelming benefit of the Enclosed Ground Flare.”
“This approval will now allow us to press ahead with our plans for the EGF, which is part of our 14-point plan to reduce flaring and ensure our operations are much quieter and less visible.”