Call an expert today: +44 (0)114 272 2270
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe now
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe Email: Call: +44 (0)114 272 2270

Medium Combustion Plant Directive FAQ

11 August 2021

Bethan Stones headshot

Bethan Stones

Group Marketing Manager

Cura Terrae
LinkedIn icon
Industrial plants

Do you have questions regarding the MCPD (Medium Combustion Plant Directive)? Take a look at our FAQ to learn more and find out the purpose of MCPD legislation and whether it applies to your business.

What is the MCPD?

MCPD stands for Medium Combustion Plant Directive.

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive is legislation which regulates emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and dust into the air from a Medium Combustion Plant. This is because Medium Combustion Plants and Specified Generators are a major source of air pollutants that may cause harm to human health and the environment (EA).

What is a Medium Combustion Plant?

A Medium Combustion Plant is an individual combustion plant with a rated thermal input greater than or equal to 1MW, but less than 50MW.

A medium combustion plant (MCP) includes any piece of plant which burns a fuel in order to use the heat for a process, such as an engine, boiler or turbine.  These MCPs could also include any of the following:

  • any abatement fitted to control emissions
  • the attached stack or flue
  • air cooling where it’s part of the combustion unit  (

What does the MCPD mean for me?

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) has expanded the requirements for Environmental Permits to include smaller sizes of plant which weren’t previously covered by environmental legislation. It now includes new and existing plants with over 1MWth input. These updated permitting requirements are still being overlooked by many businesses across the UK.

Does the MCPD apply to my business?

If your MCP has a thermal input between 1MW and 50MW and if it started operating before 20th December 2018, the MCP is classed as an existing MCP.

If it’s an existing MCP and the capacity is between 5MWth and 50MWth you must have a permit in place by the 1st January 2024.

If it’s an existing MCP and the capacity is between 1MWth and less than 5MWth, the deadline is 1st January 2029 to have a permit in place.


How do I comply with MCPD?

If you need a permit, before you apply you must check what ELV (Emission Limit Value) your MCP must meet. The ELV the MCP must meet is based on its type, such as if it’s new or existing, the fuel it burns and technology it uses. The MCP may also need to meet a stricter ELV, such as when the MCP, including a mobile MCP deployment, is located within:

  • a local authority Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) air quality zone
  • the minimum distance to a designated habitat site

    If you are still unsure whether the MCPD applies to you, see our handy Flow Diagram for more information, or contact Martin Binnie on 0114 272 2270 or at

Recent Insights

Fortnightly Bulletin - 15th July 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 15th July 2024

The new Environment Secretary, Steve Reed, has said moving Britain to a zero waste economy is one of his five core priorities.

Fortnightly Bulletin - 1st July 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 1st July 2024

The CIWM has reviewed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) ‘Resources and Waste Strategy for England’ to determine its ongoing relevance, and to identify any policy gaps where it fails to support the UK’s future requirements. 

Fortnightly Bulletin - 17th June 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 17th June 2024

The Welsh government announced that the country has been named as second in the world for recycling, in a new study by Eunomia, with a 59% recycling rate.

Bulletin Subscription

Subscribe to our FREE fortnightly Environmental Bulletin for news and updates on the environmental industry.

© 2024 Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd