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Combustion Plants

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate she has made of the costs to industry of the adoption of (a) emission limit values and (b) a national emission reduction plan under the revised Large Combustion Plants Directive; [108552](2) whether

(a) a power station and (b) generating unit are treated as combustion plants under the revised Large Combustion Plants Directive;[108554]

(3) whether emission trading will be possible under a national emission reduction plan within the revised Large Combustion Plants Directive. [108553]

The Government are currently considering the implementation of the revised Large Combustion Plant Directive (2001/80/EC), in particular, the costs and benefits of the options.Article 2(7) of the revised Directive defines a combustion plant as "any technical apparatus in which fuels are oxidised in order to use the heat thus generated". It provides for certain qualifications and exceptions to this definition (eg exclusion of gas turbines licensed before 27 November 2002) which do not constitute combustion plants for the purposes of the Directive.Article 1 of the revised Directive provides that it only applies to combustion plants (as defined in Article 2), "the rated thermal input of which is equal to or greater than 50MW, irrespective of the type of fuel used (solid, liquid or gaseous)".Accordingly, if a power station or generating unit falls within the provisions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Directive and does not benefit from any of the exclusions set out in Article 2(7), it will constitute a combustion plant for the purposes of the revised Directive.Article 4(6) of the revised Directive, which deals with the implementation of the Directive via a "national emission reduction plan" specifies the requirements that those plans must include, which among others comprise "objectives and related targets, measures and timetables for reaching those objectives and targets, and a monitoring mechanism" (Article 4(6) (a)). This Article further provides that "the national emission plan shall reduce the total annual emission of nitrogen oxides (NO

x ), sulphur dioxide (S02 ) and dust from existing plants to the levels that would have been achieved by applying the emission limit values referred to in paragraph 3 to the existing plants in operation in the year 2000".

There is nothing in the revised Directive to prohibit emissions trading in the context of a national emission reduction plan, though any emissions trading would have to comply with all other requirements of Community law, including rules of competition and state aids.