It might be a good time to check that your LPG is topped up, the St. Fergus terminal at Peterhead will be shutting the gas pipeline to Fife for three weeks from 25 August.
During this shutdown period the only alternative supplies of LPG will be from refineries in England at an expected extra cost of between 2.5 and 5ppl.
LPG suppliers have been contacting customers to let them know of the shutdown, but any customers who have not been contacted should speak to their suppliers to arrange delivery of LPG before the shut down.
In Westminster, Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan and SNP Westminster Agriculture spokesperson is seeking clarification from the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) whether input was sought from the Scottish farming industry in the decision to shut down one of the country’s major gas terminals for 3 weeks during the summer.
The shutdown will coincide with grain-drying operations when peak-demand from farmers will be reached, adding extra costs to what is already likely to be a more expensive process due to the wet summer.
Commenting on her website, Eilidh Whiteford MP said
I’ve been in communication with senior management at St Fergus and the distributors, Avanti Gas. It seems that the date for this shutdown, which is for essential work to be carried out and only the third total shutdown in the plant’s history, was agreed with DECC in January 2011.
The question which must be asked now is, did DECC seek the views of the Scottish farming industry in reaching a decision on this date?
While summer may be an obvious time to shutdown as it means a low demand from domestic gas users, shifting the closed period by only a few weeks would have made a big difference to Scottish farmers, who are now facing increased costs as a result.
I’ll be raising the issue with the UK Energy Minister to ensure that the agriculture industry is consulted on any such future plans.