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Your Guide to The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD)

What you need to know about The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD)?

On November 25 2015 the European Parliament signed a new directive that regulates emission limits from medium combustion plants. Over the next two decades The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) will begin to affect how the UK generates power. This article aims to illuminate the most important points you need to know about the MCPD. 

What are Medium Combustion Plants?

Firstly, it’s important to define what is meant by a Medium Combustion Plant. A Medium Combustion Plant is any piece of equipment that burns fuel, with very few exceptions, and where the rated thermal input (gross fuel input) is between 1 and 50MW (this applies to each individual unit).

Diesel or gas engine generators rated above 400kVA are also applicable, in addition to any appliance that uses fuel to generate heat or electricity. Boilers, generators and other mobile plants rated above 1MW thermal input are also included. 

What is The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD)?

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) will regulate emissions of SO2, NOx and dust into the air with the aim of reducing those emissions and the risks to human health and the environment they may cause. It also lays down the rules to monitor emissions of carbon monoxide (CO). (Source: European Commission). 

Key principles of the legislation include: regulation of MCPs of between 1 and 50MW (equating to electrical output of between 330kW and 17MW), monitoring of (and potentially regulation of) CO2 levels and an Emissions Limit Value (ELV) based on the size and type of combustion plants.

The MCPD listing 2015, 2018, 2025, and 2030

When will The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) come into force?

According to the European Commission, the emission limit values set in the MCP Directive will have to be applied from 20 December 2018 for new plants and by 2025 or 2030 for existing plants, depending on their size. (Existing MCPs over 5MW must comply with emissions limits by 2025 and existing MCPs under or equal to 5MW must comply with emission limits by 2030). 

What will The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) mean for you?

A complex legislation, The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) is dependent on a number of factors such as technology, fuel type and specific site, and has not yet been fully ratified. Therefore, further changes to the proposed legislation may occur before it must pass parliamentary approval.

Power Electrics recommends that its customers create an on-going assets strategy in regards to power generation, in order to minimise legislative risk and maximise financial return. 

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