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Aileen Clarke reports
"Concern was expressed about safety at the Grangemouth plant"
 real 56k

Complex director Susan Caito
"The task force looked at all areas of the operation"
 real 28k

Monday, 4 December, 2000, 17:07 GMT
Safety cash for BP refinery
Grangemouth
There was a series of alerts at the refinery
BP has announced increased levels of investment in its Grangemouth refinery following an internal inquiry into a series of accidents at the plant.

The company said 80m would be invested in the central Scotland refinery next year.

There have been seven serious incidents at the refinery in the past 15 months, two of them involving full shut-downs.

A task force which examined the workings of the BP refinery was set up following three incidents at the site in the summer.

Refinery closure
The refinery was closed on two occasions
There was a demand for reassurances over safety after a power failure, a steam line rupture and a fire on a refinery unit, all within a few days of each other.

BP's Grangemouth complex director, Susan Caito, said: "Our number one priority is to run a complex which attains the highest standards of safety, reliability and environmental performance.

"We believe the task force audit is the most comprehensive safety review ever carried out across a major petrochemicals complex.

"The review has enabled us to go over the entire site with a fine toothcomb and identify all areas where we need to take further action to ensure we get things right both now and in the future.

"The process of making these improvements is now well under way."

'High expectations'

In a brief summary of the review's findings, BP said the task force had assessed all 27 of its operating areas and found "many examples of excellence".

However, the company said it also found "areas that do not fully meet BP's high expectations".

BP did not go into detail but said 46% of the recommendations made by the task force have been implemented, and the rest would be completed by the end of next year.

The company said it has doubled the amount of investment at Grangemouth to ensure safety standards were met.

Michael Connarty MP
Michael Connarty MP: "Massive step forward"
At least 80m would be spent annually for the next three years.

Falkirk East Labour MP Michael Connarty, who had voiced concerns about safety at the plant, welcomed the task force's recommendations and the extra investment.

He said: "I think it's a massive step forward. What we've been saying for a number of years now is that this plant has expanded with 2bn of investment in the plant in the last 10 years.

"People from all round the world have been involved in this outside BP and inside BP and they've come up with a really really good management plan and investment that I believe will make a massive difference to the long term future of this plant."

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See also:

30 Jun 00 | Scotland
Asbestos errors reviewed
12 Jun 00 | Scotland
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10 Jun 00 | Scotland
Fire prompts fresh safety calls
10 Jun 00 | Scotland
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09 Jun 00 | Scotland
Refinery blast cause revealed
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