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Large Combustion Plant Directive

The revised Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD, 2001/80/EC) applies to combustion plants with a thermal output of 50 MW or more.

What does the LCPD do?

The LCPD aims to reduce acidification, ground level ozone and particles throughout Europe by controlling emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust (particulate matter (PM)) from large combustion plants (LCPs) in power stations, petroleum refineries, steelworks and other industrial processes running on solid, liquid or gaseous fuel.

These pollutants are major contributors to acid deposition, which acidifies soils and freshwater bodies, damages plants and aquatic habitats, and corrodes building materials.

Nitrogen oxides react with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight to form ozone that can adversely affect human health and ecosystems.

Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particles can travel long distances from their sources before being deposited onto land, surface waters or oceans, or forming ozone. Emissions from the UK contribute to pollution problems in other Member States, while Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Belgium are the principal non-domestic contributors to sulphur and nitrogen deposition in the UK.

A Europe-wide approach to reducing these pollutants and their impact is therefore required.

The revised LCPD takes into account advances in combustion and abatement technologies.

How does the LCPD reduce emissions?

Combustion plant must meet at least the emission limit values (ELVs) given in the LCPD. For ‘existing’ plants (i.e. those in operation pre- July 1987), Member States can choose to meet the obligations by either:

  1. Complying with ELVs for NOx, SO2, and particles.
  2. Operating within a ‘National Plan’ setting a national annual mass of emissions calculated by applying the ELV approach to existing plants, on the basis of those plants’ average actual operating hours, fuel used and thermal input, over the 5 years to 2000.

Guidance

Guidance has been published to help those regulating and operating Large Combustion Plants (LCP), although it will also be of interest to others concerned with LCPs.

Implementation

October 2012

Update No. 7 to the Final UK National Plan includes replacement tables showing the emission allowance allocated by the Secretary of State to each plant participating in the NERP.

July 2011

June 2010

June 2010

March 2010

Update No. 3 to the Final UK National Plan includes replacement tables showing the emission allowance allocated by the Secretary of State to each plant participating in the NERP.

April 2009

Update No. 2, to the Final UK National Plan includes replacement tables showing the emission allowance allocated by the Secretary of State to each plant participating in the NERP.

February 2008

The Large Combustion Plants (National Emission Reduction Plan) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No. 2325) provide the legal basis for the transfer of annual limits between participating Large Combustion Plants within the UK NERP. A register of participating LCPs has been established which will record these transfers.

Further information can be found on the Environment Agency website.

January 2008

Annex VIII(B) of the Large Combustion Plants Directive requires Member States to establish, starting in 2004 and for each subsequent year, an inventory of SO2, NOx and dust emissions for all combustion plants with a rated thermal input of 50MW or more.

The first annual submission of this information, which was sent by the due date of 31 December 2007, is available on the Central Data Repository (CDR) of the Eionet website.

19 December 2007

Update No. 1, to the Final UK National Plan sent to the European Commission on 28 February 2006. This includes replacement tables showing the emission allowance allocated by the Secretary of State to each plant participating in the NERP.

31 October 2007

Following the consultation on establishing the operation of the UK National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) the Large Combustion Plants (National Emission Reduction Plan) Regulations 2007 came into force on 10 September 2007 and on 31 October 2007 the following direction was given to the Environment Agency: The Pollution Prevention and Control (Combustion Plants) (England) Directions 2007

27 February 2007

In 2007 Defra held a consultation outlining the proposed operation of the UK National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) under the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD), and including the Large Combustion Plants (National Emission Reduction Plan) Regulations 2007. The NERP enables plant operators to trade emission allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, while preventing them from emitting an amount of these pollutants that is greater than that for which they hold emission allowances.  The documents below are being retained for reference, as they describe the operation of the NERP, which was established following the consultation.

1 March 2006

The UK LCPD package was sent to the European Commission on 28 February 2006. For further information see the following documents:

 

Recent developments

In December 2010, the directive on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (Recast), was published in the Official Journal and requires transposition into UK law no later than 6 January 2013. It represents a coalescing of seven directives, including the Waste Incineration directive, into one piece of legislation.  Certain provisions of the directive follow the implementation dates below:

  • Transposition into UK law by 6 January 2013
  • Implementation from 6 January 2013 in respect of any installation new after that date
  • Implementation by 6 January 2014 in respect of installations already in existence before 6 January 2013 (except large combustion plants)
  • Implementation by 6 July 2015 in respect of industrial activities not subject to the current integrated pollution prevention and control directive
  • Implementation from 1 January 2016 in respect of large combustion plants already in existence before 6 January 2013

Useful links

Page last modified: 4 October 2012