Agreement reached on the Medium Combustion Plant Directive

The new directive will set EU-wide limits for particles harmful to health from medium combustion plants, including CHP plants.

The Council and the European Parliament reached an informal agreement on the 23rd of June on the Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) Directive. The MCP Directive sets maximum allowed emission levels for health-threatening NOx and SO2 particles, covering CHP plants with a thermal output of 1-50 MW.

EBA worked on this file for several months, consulting experts and providing technical information to the European Parliament and Council. EBA supports the aims of the directive but there was a serious concern that the biogas sector could not meet the extremely low SO2 limit values proposed by the Commission and supported by the European Parliament, which were only a fraction compared to most national laws. In contrast to the original proposal, the June compromise has higher values for biogas and is more favourable to smaller plants under 5 MW; existing biogas CHP plants will have more time to meet the Directive’s provisions by 2030.

Once there is a formal agreement (likely by the end of summer), Member States will have 2 years to incorporate this directive into their national laws. EBA believes that the proposed text is balanced, as it significantly improves Europe’s air quality laws and at the same time it places emission requirements that biogas producers can match with the help of the latest technologies and techniques.