Thursday, 13 June 2019

Visit to Fife Ethylene Plant

Busy start to this week. Auchtertool Community Council meeting last night and then back along the road this morning to visit Mossmorran.
I had a very informative site tour with the shift manager, Bill Brogan - where distant memories of Higher Chemistry came back (!) to me. 
Very interesting to learn of the whole process from the North Sea to Shell to ExxonMobil where ethane (which arrives at Shell) is then cracked to produce ethylene (using steam) and then onwards to Braefoot Bay, where much is exported. Also discovered some of what moves around the plant during the process becomes electricity which can feed into the grid. 
I met with some former local apprentices who now work at the plant and who explained the workings of the control room. 
Recent flaring was also discussed - and that in particular is why I would recommend a site visit to anyone who wants to understand more of why this happens. I am not a scientist so can’t provide the scientific explanations! Therefore, I would urge anyone who wants some science evidenced information and explanations to contact  FEP or the regulator, SEPA.
As ever, if you live in Ward 9 and have any questions do get in touch - and if they are requiring some technical expertise I will take your enquiry up with ExxonMobil.  
Thanks also to the staff on site today who answered my many questions.

Some Key Facts:
  •   c250 core employees (c600 across Mossmorran complex)
  •   73 employees are degree qualified or higher
  •   Over 60% of employees live within ten miles of FEP
  •   Over a third started their careers as apprentices
  •   c£40m estimated annual contribution to Fife economy
  •   Over £5m paid annually in land rates to Fife Council
  •   More than 120 local companies supply goods and services to FEP
      Over £3m donated to education and community causes over the past two decades
      Almost 8000 hours donated in last five years by FEP employees, in both work and personal time to support local causes
      Over £20m invested each year in preventative maintenance
      FEP is one of the youngest plants of its kind in Europe
      Over 330 days operation without elevated flaring before incident in April

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