Medium Combustion Plants and Specified Generators are a major source of air pollutants that may cause harm to human health and the environment.  The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) sets out rules to control emissions of dust particulates, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the air. It also sets monitoring requirements for carbon monoxide (CO). The Specified Generator regulations also control emissions to air from generators that would not be captured by the MCPD.


MCPD regulates pollutant emissions from the combustion of fuels in plants with a rated thermal input equal to or greater than 1 megawatt (MWth) and less than 50 MWth.


The emission limit values set in the MCPD will have to be applied starting from the 20 December 2018 and rolling out thereafter as;


Combustion Plant – Key Dates For Registration

  • 20 December 2018 – all new combustion plant is to be registered and comply with Emission Limit Values (ELVs).
  • 01 January 2024 – all existing combustion plant rated greater than 5 MWth is to be registered and comply with emission limit values (ELVs) a year later.
  • 01 January 2029 – all existing combustion plant rated less than 5MWth is to be registered and comply with emission limit values (ELVs) a year later.


Generators – Key Dates for Registration

  • 01 January 2019 – Tranche B Generators (plants that operate without Capacity Agreements, Feed in Tariffs or balancing schemes on qualifying dates) 1MWth and 50MWth.
  • 01 October 2019 – Tranche A Generators (plants that operate with Capacity Agreements, Feed in Tariffs or balancing schemes with qualifying dates) greater than 5 MWth (with emissions of nitrogen oxides above 500mg/Nm3).
  • 01 January 2025 – Tranche A Generators greater than 5 MWth (with emissions of nitrogen oxides below 500mg/Nm3).
  • 01 January 2030 – Tranche A Generators less than 5 MWth.


Note that requirements for generators are stricter if the plant operates without subsidies as permits could be required by the 01 January 2019.

The Environment Agency administers and regulates the scheme for England, and Local Authorities have additional powers in air quality zones or special areas of conservation.


Under the legislation Operators are to;


  • Review combustion plant and generators installed on their sites and in planning.
  • Understand which category that the plant falls under according to the legislation.
  • Implement a phased compliance plan to legislation including plant registration, obtaining permits, ongoing air quality monitoring and measurements, plant run time monitoring and where required, reducing emissions to comply with statutory Emission Limit Values (ELVs).


BSSEC can support you with your MCPD and Specified Generator Controls compliance and offer;


  • Estate wide combustion and generator reviews
  • Legislation gap analysis
  • Production of compliance inventories
  • Compliance action plans
  • Implementation of automatic emissions monitoring
  • Scheme registration support
  • Permit Applications
  • Emissions reduction project management


For Further Information please contact;


Paul Bennett

Managing Director


07815 82 44 62

This article was written by

Paul Bennett
Executive Chairman

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