Large Combustion Plant Directive

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The Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD, 2001/80/EC) was a European Union directive which required member states of the European Union to legislatively limit flue gas emissions from combustion plant having thermal capacity of 50 MW or greater. The directive applied to fossil-fuel power stations, and other large thermal plant such as petroleum refineries and steelworks.[1] The directive specified emission limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and dust.[2] The directive was issued in October 2001. It replaced the earlier EEC directive on large combustion plants, 88/609/EEC, issued in November 1988.[3]

Under the terms of the directive, combustion plant built after 1987 had to comply with specific emissions limits. From 2007, plant built earlier than that could either opt to comply with the emissions limits, or 'opt out'.[4] Plant which opted out were limited to a maximum of 20,000 hours of further operation, and had to close completely by the end of 2015.[5] Across Europe, 205 plants have opted out, with Britain having the largest proportion of opted-out plant in terms of total capacity.[6]

The Large Combustion Plant Directive was superseded by the Industrial Emissions Directive on 1 January 2016.[7]

UK opted-out plant[edit]

The nine opted-out generating stations supplying the National Grid were:[8]

Station Generating capacity (MW) Closure date
Grain 1300 December 2012
Kingsnorth 1940 December 2012
Didcot 'A' 1940 March 2013
Cockenzie 1152 March 2013
Fawley 990 March 2013
Ferrybridge 980 (half) March 2014
Ironbridge 970 20 November 2015
Tilbury 1037 August 2013[9]
Littlebrook 1245 March 2015
Total 11550

Opted-out plant exists at four other sites; however, only certain plant at these sites is affected.[10]


  1. ^ "Large Combustion Plant Directive". Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Large Combustion Plant Directive". Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Large Combustion Plants Directive". European Commission. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Large combustion plant directive". e.on.
  5. ^ Charles Butcher (1 May 2012). "Europe: More Coal, Then Less". Power.
  6. ^ Pete Harrison (13 February 2009). "UK and Poland top dirty coal list, closures loom". Reuters.
  7. ^ House of Lords European Union Committee (2 May 2013). "No Country is an Energy Island: Securing Investment for the EU's Future".
  8. ^ "Large Combustion Plant Directive" (PDF). National Grid. On 1st January 2008 there will be 11550 MW of opted out generation.
  9. ^ "Tilbury biomass power station is turned off". BBC News. 14 August 2013.
  10. ^ "United Kingdom National Emission Reduction Plan for implementation of the revised Large Combustion Plants Directive (2001/80/EC)" (PDF). Defra. October 2012.

External links[edit]