Industrial Compliance

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New guide on Medium Combustion Plant Directive

Published: 9 October 2019 - Victoria White

Finning has launched a free new guide, to help plant owners and operators ensure they don’t fall foul of legislation introducing new emissions limits for mid-sized machinery and plant.

Available to download from, the guide explores the implications of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), and strides made by manufacturers and suppliers, such as Finning, to engineer solutions that can help limit pollutants. The guide is the first in what is set to be a regular series, titled ‘The Power Players’, which discusses the latest issues, challenges and opportunities for the electric power industry.

The directive, introduced due to EU targets, seeks to regulate each piece of mid-sized equipment (with a thermal input up to 50MW) used for combustion. This addresses a gap in the control of emissions because larger plants (over 50MW) are covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive.

The legislation will have a wide-reaching impact, affecting new and existing plant such as electricity generators, boilers and turbines. In fact, the European Commission states that the number of medium combustion plants in the EU affected is approximately 143,000.
The MCPD sets out rules to control emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust. It also lays down rules to monitor carbon monoxide (CO).
As a result, operators are reconsidering the role of diesel in future operations, unaware that existing installations may already comply with the directive. New plants were required to have a permit as of December 2018, while existing operations will not need to obtain one until January 2024 if over 5MW and 2029 for smaller sites. However, there are some instances where refurbishment of current installations will fall under the ‘New’ category.

Emissions limits depend on a plant’s type, size, age, fuel and annual operating hours. Some diesel generators will be exempt if they are in use for no more than 500 hours per year over five years – but only with a permit.

As there is already a vast, installed estate of diesel generators in the UK, the challenge now is for manufacturers to provide solutions that can reduce emissions while continuing to offer engines with a high-power output.

The guide explores such innovations in technology, including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which uses a urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and a catalytic converter to reduce NOx emissions. SCR is not only an opportunity to meet emissions requirements, but to improve efficiency, resulting in lower fuel consumption and costs.

With a number of retro-fit solutions available the future for diesel still looks promising – especially for operators balancing power demand with the cost of investing in new equipment.

Jason Harryman, Sales and Business Development Manager – Electric Power-Diesel at Finning, explains: “We are thrilled to launch first edition of ‘The Power Players’, a new series which intends to tackle the latest industry updates and issues affecting those operating in the electric power market. Each edition will tackle a single topic, with the first of these focused on the MCPD.

“The first issue provides an overview of what the MCPD actually means, what this means particularly for diesel-fired generators, and the latest technology innovations available to help limit emissions levels. It also includes a Q&A piece from AMPS (the Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power generating Systems), where the organisation’s technical secretary answers common questions around the MCPD. We hope those in electric power market find it helpful and informative.”

To download the free new guide, please visit

Source: Industrial Compliance

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