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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-08667: Richard Leonard (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 5 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what SEPA rating for pollution control has been given to the Grangemouth refinery in each of the last five years.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 27 April 2017

Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland Limited holds the licence that covers the oil refining activities at Grangemouth. SEPA's Compliance Assessment Scheme is designed to demonstrate the level of compliance associated with specific licence conditions and is assessed annually.

The Compliance Assessment Scheme Assessment Reports for regulated sites available at http://apps.sepa.org.uk/compliance/ and the results for the last 5 years are set out in the following table.

Year

Compliance Assessment Scheme

Comments

2016

Poor

Petroineos received a score of Poor for 2016, due primarily to a significant incident in May, with the release to air of approximately 40 tonnes of sulphur. The Operator carried out an investigation and SEPA is satisfied that an appropriate action plan is in place to prevent recurrence.

A number of other minor incidents also occurred throughout the year. Despite this the site should receive due credit for minimising flaring and sulphur emissions and continuing to invest in maintaining and upgrading the complex equipment in use there.

2015

Poor

Petroineos's performance was very good in 2015 in terms of maintaining the improvement in sulphur dioxide emissions due to significant reduction from the sulphur recovery plant aided by reduced sulphur flaring due to good reliability. Hydrocarbon flaring was the lowest total ever recorded indicative of good performance to reduce emissions from flaring. Compliance was recorded as poor owing to a prolonged offensive odour from the site affecting a wide area of Grangemouth during December which was considered a significant breach of the odour condition in the permit Compliance was restored and SEPA has continued to monitor the situation.

2014

At Risk

Whilst the refinery had made significant improvements to reduce total sulphur dioxide emissions from the site, SEPA remained concerned with the poor sulphur flaring performance in 2014. In addition to this poor process control associated with an incident on the site resulted in the low performance score for the site. Following discussions with the Operator, SEPA was satisfied that an appropriate action plan had been put in place to prevent recurrence.

2013

Broadly Compliant

SEPA assessed the licence holder as broadly compliant with licence conditions but highlighted several areas for improvement.

2012

Broadly Compliant

SEPA assessed the licence holder as broadly compliant with licence conditions but highlighted several areas for improvement.