UK: The burning question about refurbs

Have you got a combustion plant over 1 MW input on site? Has it been replaced or had its burner upgraded since the 20 December 2018? Then you may need to comply with the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) regulations to stay compliant with the EA.

by Sophie Archer

MCPD currently governs all new combustion plants over 1 MWth input. It is due to be extended to cover all existing assets over 5 MWth by 2025, then existing plants over 1 MWth by 2029. However, there have been developments within the farming community that means some may require permitting sooner rather than they thought.

Combustion plants can be complex pieces of machinery which require ongoing maintenance. The upgrading or replacement of some components, including the burner, can result in the plant being reclassified as refurbished upon recommissioning. This means previously existing plants that were excluded from a recent permit, or exempt the site from needing one entirely, may now be subject to being permitted.

Any of this sound familiar? Then you will need to act now...

What do you need to do?
If you are planning on upgrading your boiler, for a newer like-for-like- model, you must consider the time it takes to get a permit before you order your new burner. However, we do understand that unexpected breakdowns and replacements are not something that can be planned for in advance. We can advise you on what to do in these situations and, where applicable, contact the regulator for assistance.

What will happen if I do not notify my regulator of these changes?
It is crucial that you start this process as early as possible! The Environment Agency or your Local Authority has the right to shut any plant down that is under the offence of operating a plant without a permit – this also includes commissioning!

Who do you need to contact?
We can help! Our experienced technical team can assist you with identifying if and what applications/amendments your refurbished plant requires.

How long will it take to re-permit?
For existing plants that have had changes in capacity, swapped from a boiler to an engine, etc, it is currently taking between six and eight months from when the permit application/variation is submitted.

For new permitted plants that have had like-for-like replacements, this is significantly decreased but exact timescales are unique to each situation.

How much will it cost?
Costs are variable depending on the type of plant, the local sensitive habitats, and what is being burnt. We can provide a detailed list of all necessary costs as part of your query.

For more information regarding Environmental Permits, please see our blog posts - MCPD environmental permits: all you need to know.

For more information:
NFU Energy
024 7669 8899 

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