Insights

MCPD Briefing Note

What is a Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) and what should you know about the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD)?

What is the MCPD?
The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) was published in 2015 and translated into UK law in 2018. It was transposed into the Environmental Permitting (in England and Wales) and PPC Regulations (in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

The MCPD complements the Industrial Emissions Directive (large combustion plant) and the Eco-Design Directive (small combustion plant) and aims to limit emissions of certain pollutants from medium combustion plants.

The MCPD applies emission limit values (ELVs) on SO2, NOx and Particulates. ELVs vary depending on the type of MCP and the fuel used. CO has no ELV but must be monitored.

How will the MCPD be implemented / regulated?

The MCPD is regulated in the UK by the following bodies:
• England: Environment Agency
• Scotland: Scottish Environment Protection Agency
• Wales: Natural Resources Wales
• Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Environment Agency

What Plant/Installations are affected?

Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) is a plant, or combination of plant, with a rated thermal input power between 1 and 50 MW. Typical plant are boilers and generators – with a common misconception about generators being that electrical power ratings apply, whereas in fact it is the thermal rating, which is greater than the electrical power rating.

The MCPD applies to both existing and new MCPs:
• “New” MCPs are those which came/come into operation on or after 20 December 2018
• “Existing” MCPs are those that were operational before this date.
New and existing MCPs have different ELVs to meet.

An existing MCP can be classified as a new MCP if it is:
• Altered or repaired such that pollution emissions increase; or
• substantially refurbished (where costs are more than 50% of a comparable new MCP replacement).

What are the key dates?

You must have an MCP permit in place by:
• New MCP: the date on which it is commissioned
• Existing MCP between 5-50 MWth: 1 January 2024
• Existing MCP between 1 – 5 MWth 1 January 2029.
You must comply with your MCPD permit conditions by:
• New MCP: the date on which it is commissioned
• Existing MCP between 5-50 MWth: 1 January 2025
• Existing MCP between 1 – 5 MWth 1 January 2030.

What are my obligations?
There are both technical and administrative elements of the permit application process which need to be addressed well ahead of any project deadline.

• Your application may require a supporting air quality assessment which can be simple or detailed, depending on the size and nature of your plant and local sensitivities;
• You may need to carry out stack emissions testing of the flue gas emitted by your MCP;
• Allow ample time for determination by the regulators – permit determination can take several months.

How can ITPEnergised help?

ITPEnergised has a first-class in-house air quality and permitting team providing trusted advice to clients and supporting them throughout the permitting process. Our team has worked across many sectors affected by the MCPD including: peaking power, food and drink, pharmaceutical, aviation and property. Our team has worked with major companies including Ford, Tesco, GSK, Emerson and Bakkavor. If you need support or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

MCPD Briefing Note