Medium Combustion Plant – new legislation is now in force – are you compliant?

New environmental legislation designed to improve air quality comes into force today (20th December 2018).

From 20th December 2018 new Medium Combustion Plant in the EU will need to be registered and/or permitted (e.g. Boilers, CHPs, DRUPs, diesel and gas generators, fuel cells etc.). The new rules apply to Medium Combustion plant, i.e. items sized ≥ 1 MW and <50 MW (based on nett thermal input). This is a significant reduction in the previous existing threshold of ≥ 50 MWth. Please note that 1 MWth is equivalent to circa 400 kVA electrical output for a diesel generator.

It is an offence to operate without the necessary registrations where they are required, and there is potential for significant reputational and commercial risks. As well as the registration, plant may also need to meet certain Emission Limit Values (ELVs) for NOx, SO2 and dust / particulates. These limits are designed to improve air quality.

Any Medium Combustion Plant operating prior to 20th December 2018 will also be subject to the rules at a later date. The requirements are being phased in until 2030.

This notice is a simplified summary. There are country and site-specific details to be checked, and some potential exemptions that can be obtained. The precise details, thresholds, name of the permit required, and the dates action is needed differs depending on location.

Each EU country has its own specific rules based on the framework provided by the Medium Combustion Plant Directive. Some countries have stricter rules, for example in England & Wales (but not yet Scotland) there are stricter requirements for generators which are run for demand side response, Triad, STOR etc.

These new requirements will not be affected by BREXIT, as the rules are now in UK law.

Hurley Palmer Flatt has 10+ years’ experience of managing environmental permitting requirements for our clients across several EU countries. Our design engineers and environmental consultants have the skills needed to cost effectively manage compliance and minimise risks. We can offer guidance on next steps, identification of site-specific compliance requirements, and support with the relevant applications (where these are required).

Should you have any combustion plant which is due to be handed over in the next 6 months, or any generators in England & Wales, you may require early action.

We will distribute a white paper in the New Year with further information. In the meantime if you have any queries please contact:

Neil Hadden
Divisional Director
+44 7525 669 772
+44 141 572 1440

Information is also available from the relevant Authorities in each territory, for example:

England: Environment Agency, Environmental Permitting
Scotland: SEPA, Pollution Prevention & Control Permitting
Republic of Ireland: EPA, Medium Combustion Plant Registration
France: Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, MCP Regulations {in French}
EU: Medium Combustion Plant Summary