Jun 29 2012 by Craig Robertson, Dumfries Standard Friday
THE BOSS of a troubled waste processing company admits to regrets over its latest crisis.
Scotgen Dumfries project director Lloyd Brotherton said they will do all they can to make it safe again.
As reported in Wednesdays Standard, the s20 million facility, at Dargavel Stores on Lockerbie Road, was shut down by environmental watchdog, SEPA.
A report released last Friday revealed that the plant breached emission limits for dioxin a chemical that the World Health Organisation has linked to cancer.
Mr Brotherton said: Scotgen regrets that the conditions prevalent were unable to prevent such a failure and further regrets the concern that may be caused in our wider community of neighbours.
The breach was identified after results from the periodic sampling of one of the two operating streams during the month of May 2012.
He said one of the streams was above the permitted level but similar tests a month before had given a satisfactory result.
He added: No definitive single cause of the failure has been identified.
However, it is thought that the breach may have been linked to an intermittent fault with a data control card within the abatement dosing system.
Following re-testing of both streams, as agreed with our regulator SEPA, we have agreed to close down operations until these re-test results are received.
Scotgen is disappointed at this occurrence and looks forward to the opportunity presented by the re-testing to demonstrate the safety and efficiency of the process once the facility returns to operation.
Scotgen is continuing to work closely with its regulator and aims to co-operate fully at all times.
He said the emissions breach was 0.1517 of a nanogram above what was allowed with there being one thousand million nanograms in a gram.
The shut down is the latest in a long line of faults with the Scotgen facility at Dargavel Stores on Lockerbie Road.
Its meant to burn waste and turn it into energy by having steam turn a wind turbine.
But it has struggled to get off the ground and produce energy since in opened in 2008.
Faulty boilers had to be replaced which caused the facility to be closed for a year.
The site was also linked to the Waste2Energy debt scandal which was exposed by the Standard last year.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray called for the council to rethink a contract they have with the site to provide them with waste to burn.
She said: The history of this plant has been a catalogue of problems.
There must be questions about how well the technology had been researched.
The problems also call into question whether the Eco Deco plant run by Shanks on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council can comply with the zero waste regulations.
Unfortunately the council took a decision, signed off by Ross Finnie when he was Rural Affairs Minister, which with hindsight was probably not the best solution for Dumfries and Galloway but is now very difficult to reverse.