PETROCHEMICAL giant Ineos has beenwarned that "compliance is non-negotiable" by the environment regulator following further "unplanned gas flaring" near Grangemouth.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has put out a warning about the continued burning of waste gases at the Ineos Chemicals plant, after a barrage of complaints about the noise and the heat from local residents.

In May it emerged Ineos had appealed against new controls imposed by Sepa on the Kinneil oil and gas terminal on the Firth of Forth.

After years of complaints and investigations, Sepa moved to limit noise and air pollution from the flaring.

But the company then insisted that the controls would prevent "normal operating activities".

Sepa has now said: "We are aware of unplanned flaring overnight at the Ineos Chemicals site.


"We are clear that compliance is non-negotiable and our officers are engaging with the operator to understand the cause and ensure flairing is reduced and stopped as soon as possible.

"Ineos Chemicals have issued an update via their social media channels and it is understood that the ground flare will be utilised to minimise disturbance from high level flaring."

One resident, Joan Butler said: "Okay I have now been listening to the noise from Ineos since about 9 o’clock. The house is too hot if I shut the windows and I have a 12 hour shift to look forward to. This is getting way beyond a joke."

Lindsey Kerr said she was going to phone to complaint saying: "Last night was ridiculous."

Doug Sheehan added: "If I was making half the noise Ineos is, at this time of the morning, I'd have the police at my door."

HeraldScotland: WEATHER May 141176

Two weeks ago residents complained about flaring resulting from a shut down of a refinery unit.

Ineos apologised for the "inconvenience caused" when "excess gases were flared" due to one of its Petroineos refinery units being "safely shut down.2 Ineos bought the Kinneil terminal from the oil multinational BP for £186m last year along with the huge North Sea Forties pipeline system. But the terminal’s previous track record on flaring under BP was problematic.

The refinery run by was condemned for its “poor” environmental performance for the second year running last year following a series of pollution blunders.

Sepa gave it one of its lowest performance ratings because of nine incidents that caused pollution in 2016. It was also assessed as poor in 2015.

Ineos said of the latest incident: "Due to an unplanned event on the KG ethylenhe plant at the Ineos Grangemouth site last night the manufacturing plant is currently flaring 'off spec' product.

"We apologise for the noise and light associated with the flaring and would like to assure local residents and those in the vicinity that we are working hard to reduce the levels and during of this flaring.

"As we recover from the unplanned event there has been and will continue to be spells of flaring from the site.

"Flaring provides a safe discharge route for off-specification product that cannot be recovered or re-processed. As it ws last night, our ground flare will continue to be fully utilised to minimise disturbance from high level flaring."