Will the new Medium Combustion Plant Directive affect you?

The forthcoming EU (MCP) Directive will affect combustion plant between 1 and 50MW and will come into force in December 2017.

Posted on 01 March 2016.


This new legislation will regulate the emissions of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and particulates.  The emission limit values set in the MCP Directive will depend on the size of plant and will be applied from 20 December 2018 for new plants and by 2025 for existing 5-50MW plant or 2030 for existing 1-5MW plant.  Operation of such plant will only be allowed when registered with relevant authority, probably the Environment Agency (EA) in England and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland. 

Information such as rated thermal input (MW), type of the medium combustion plant, sector of activity (NACE Code), expected annual operating hours, applicable emissions limits, is expected to be part of the operator notification to the competent authority along with a signed declaration that the operator will operate the plant in accordance with the limits imposed. 

There are some exclusions from the MCP Directive.  For instance, plants which are subject to the chapters in the Industrial Emissions Directive dealing with waste incineration; combustion plants in which the gaseous products of combustion are used for the direct heating; drying or any other treatment of objects or materials; post-combustion plants designed to purify the waste gases from industrial processes by combustion and which are not operated as independent combustion plants; or any technical apparatus used in the propulsion of a vehicle, ship or aircraft.  It is therefore important to establish if the MCP directive applies to your situation.

So what does this mean for operators?  It is expected that each plant will have emissions measurements taken of the relevant pollutants within 3 months of registration and thereafter annually if the MCP thermal input is between 20 and 50 MW and every three years if it is less than 20 MW.  At present it has not been decided who will take the emission measurements in accordance with international standards but it could be included in the existing Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS), monitoring emissions to air, land and water, operated by the EA.  Operators who exceed the limits will be forced to take action such as changing fuels or installing abatement measures.  MCP directive still has to be transposed to UK law so more detail will be available then.

If you have any concerns or questions about any of the above, or would like support to ensure your compliance, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 6127 567, email info@jrpsolutions.com or book a call back through our website.