What is MCPD and how does it affect my business?

The EU-wide Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) is a complex legislation that affects businesses with medium combustion plants and generators. If you are one of those businesses, it’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure you are compliant.

MCPD regulates the emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides and dust (ash) and has been introduced to improve air quality. It requires a permit to operate all boilers, engines or turbines burning fuel, used for the first time on or after 20 December 2018. Registration is required for each unit on premises that is larger than 1MW net rated thermal input, but less than 5MW.

The regulations also cover existing combustion plants rated at more than 5MW from the year 2025 and between 1 and 5MW from 2030.

MCPD covers any plant burning gaseous, liquid or solid fuels that are above these capacities. In industrial terms, 1MW and even 5MW aren’t particularly large plants - even office buildings can have gas boilers that are individually rated at more than 1MW, so the regulations are fairly wide reaching.

Kinect Energy recently worked with a client in the UK, across two of their sites, to provide an assessment of all the combustion plants they had and whether they would be impacted by MCPD. We compiled two reports for the client covering what the implications were for them and the corrective steps that needed to be taken.

MCPD operates on the basis of permits, which will be required for all qualifying plants, and will need to be in place a year before the emissions limits apply. Any plant that does not meet the emissions limit values will be prohibited from operating.

There are estimated to be around 143,000 medium combustion plants in the EU, used for a variety of applications such as electricity generation, domestic or residential heating and cooling and providing heat or steam for industrial uses.

Under the regulations, combustion plant emissions must be formally measured and submitted to the relevant body in the country. For combustion plants with a combined thermal input which totals between 1MW and 20MW, the inspection should take place every three years. Installations that are over 20MW should be tested every year.

It is possible to use continuous emission monitoring methods, but this is usually only applied to large combustion plant equipment. This is because installation of the monitoring equipment can be expensive, and it requires regular maintenance and calibration.

MCPD has been designed to be affordable for small and medium sized enterprises and to minimise any administrative burden for industry. Under the regulations, there is also flexibility for district heating and biomass firing plants to ensure that climate and air quality policies are consistent.

If you would like to find out how we can help ensure you are MCPD compliant, contact us today on info@kinectenergy.com.