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New Directive on Medium Combustion Plants

The European Commission has adopted a new Directive to regulate emissions to air from medium combustion plants, defined as plants having a rated thermal input from 1 MW to 50 MW. It is estimated that there are over 140,000 such plants in operation throughout the EU.

This Directive limits emissions of three key pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust, and requires monitoring for another pollutant, carbon monoxide. Plants with a rated thermal input greater than 50 MW, known as large combustion plants, are already regulated by the Industrial Emissions Directive, and so are not affected by this Directive.

Existing medium combustion plants need to be registered with the competent authority, and comply with the limit values by either 2025 (if they are larger than 5 MW) or 2030 (for smaller plants). New combustion plants in general have stricter limit values, and need to comply within 12 months from the Directive being transposed into local law. Member states may, however, exempt plants that do not operate more than 500 hours each year from meeting the limit values; such plants could include generators used for emergency electricity back-up purposes.

The Directive also requires periodic monitoring of emissions – annually or every three years depending on the size of the plant. However, Member States are allowed to require continuous monitoring for any parameter, and to allow the use of calculations for sulphur dioxide emissions only.

The full text of the Directive is available here.

Posted in Environmental news