SNP - Tom Wills

Gas plant flare to stop smoking soon

Black smoke pouring out of the new Shetland Gas Plant's flare stack will stop soon according to operator Total.

SHETLAND Gas Plant operator Total has promised to soon end the black smoke pouring out of its recently-commissioned flare stack at Sullom Voe.

Environment protection agency SEPA has received “a number of complaints” from local people about the flaring.

However the agency said it had no concerns about the smoke’s impact on the atmosphere.

“At present SEPA is satisfied that there is no immediate impact on the environment as a result of the smoke,” a spokesman said.

The agency said it was closely monitoring the flare stack and its emissions and were in regular contact with Total on the issue.

The smoke is produced by condensate that arrives along with gas from the Laggan-Tormore fields west of Shetland.

Total said it was in the process of installing an extra separation unit to bring an end to the black smoke.

A company spokesman said: “In the near future we will have completed the commissioning of an ‘associated gas’ compressor that will reduce this requirement to flare.”

Meanwhile SEPA said it would continue to ensure Total complied with its environmental permits.

“Once fully commissioned the plant is designed to operate with smoke-free flaring,” the agency confirmed.

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