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Mossmorran Gas Plant
Mossmorran from Pilkham Hills. - - 12935.jpg
Seen in April 2004
Mossmorran is located in Fife
Location within Fife
Alternative names Fife Ethylene Plant, FEP
General information
Type Gas terminal
Location Cowdenbeath, Fife, Scotland, KY4 8EP
Coordinates 56°05′49″N 3°18′11″W / 56.097°N 3.303°W / 56.097; -3.303Coordinates: 56°05′49″N 3°18′11″W / 56.097°N 3.303°W / 56.097; -3.303
Current tenants Esso
Completed 1985
Inaugurated 1985
Owner ExxonMobil Chemical Limited
Technical details
Floor area 133 acres (0.54 km2)

The Mossmorran NGL (natural gas liquids) fractionation plant is part of the North Sea Brent oil and gas field system located on the outskirts of Cowdenbeath, Fife. It is known by ExxonMobil as their Fife Ethylene Plant.


The site opened in 1985.


The flare from the Mossmorran site is clearly visible, day and night, from any elevated point in Edinburgh at normal levels and can be seen from many tens of miles away when it is in full flow. The site is accessed east of the A909, off the south of the A92.

Gas flare in October 2012


After the gas is separated from oil on the platforms offshore, the gas is then pumped ashore in the FLAGS and Fulmar pipelines to a terminal at St Fergus operated by Shell UK Ltd At the St Fergus Gas Plant the methane is separated from the rest of the gas product. The methane is then sent to a neighbouring National Grid plant (NTS), leaving the remaining NGL to be piped south via a 223 kilometres (139 mi) pipeline to the Mossmorran site in Fife.[1] At the Mossmorran NGL fractionation plant, natural gas fluid is separated by distillation (in fractionation columns) into ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), butane (C4H10) and pentane (C5H12). The ethane is then piped to an adjacent ethene cracker plant operated by ExxonMobil for further processing and cracking. The propane and butane is chilled, liquefied and stored on site within double integrity tanks, the gasoline is also stored on site within floating roof tanks. These liquids are then transported via pipeline to the marine terminal at Braefoot Bay on the Firth of Forth for loading onto ships for export. Mossmorran also has an adjacent road tanker terminal for road transportation of propane and butane.

The plant originally operated using two identical process modules (each with three columns) with a capacity of approximately 10,000 tonnes per day. This was later increased to 15,000 tonnes per day by the addition of a third process module and a few other upgrades in 1992 at a cost of roughly £100 million. As well as the Brent fields the plants at St. Fergus and Mossmorran also process gas from the recently installed Goldeneye Gas Platform.

Fife Ethylene Plant at night in January 2012


  1. ^ Ron Gilmour, Jonathan Theakston (22 July 2002). "Shell Expro’s St Fergus to Mossmorran NGL Pipeline" (PDF). Energy Solutions. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 

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