1. introduction

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1. Introduction

1.1. Emission inventory

Reliable information on the level of air pollutant emissions is the basis for addressing environmental problems such as acid deposition, climate change, photochemical oxidants and urban air quality.

A key element of any environmental policy is an emission inventory that identifies and quantifies the main sources of pollutants. Such an inventory provides a common and consistent means for comparing the relative contribution of different emission sources and hence can supply a basis for policy to reduce emissions.

In the past, local and regional problems with large point sources of air emissions have led to the implementation of important emission control agreements which are currently in place. There is thus a considerable amount of information available on large point sources at a national level.

One of the main objectives of CORINAIR 90 was to harmonise the collation, handling, storage and publication of information on large point sources and other sources.


1.2. CORINAIR 90

CORINAIR is an air emission inventory for Europe. It was part of the CORINE work plan set up by the European Council of Ministers in 1985.

The goal of CORINAIR 90 was to provide a complete, consistent and transparent air pollutant emission inventory for Europe for the year 1990 within a reasonable timescale to enable widespread use of the inventory for policy, research and other purposes.

Twenty nine European countries provided emission estimates for 1990 adopting the CORINAIR methodology as developed by the European Environment Agency Task Force.

The CORINAIR system has now been integrated in the work programme of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and work is continuing through the European Topic Centre on Air Emission (ETC/AEM). It is the task of the ETC/AEM to develop the methodology and prepare emission inventories for subsequent years as well as to update the 1990 inventory.


1.3. This report

The main part of the information obtained by the CORINAIR 90 inventory is related to large point sources (LPS). In addition to the actual emission data, details were requested for physical characteristics of plants, stacks, fuels, operating conditions and emission control technologies.

Whereas Summary Reports nr.1 and 2 gave an overview of total emissions (point and other sources) for eight investigated pollutants, this report is more selective in that it presents information about large point sources in the CORINAIR 90 inventory for SO2, NOx and CO2, which are the relevant pollutants for LPS.

The goal is to provide information of the:

  • physical characteristics of plants and part of plants

  • fuel data and

  • emission data

of large point sources.

This report will also provide information regarding emissions, locations and technical details for the ten biggest point sources of:

  • Public Power Plants >300MW

  • Industrial Combustion Plants >300MW

  • Refineries

  • Inorganic Chemical Industries

The next paragraph gives an overview of the structure of CORINAIR 90 and is followed by a chapter describing the methodology used for studying large point sources. Another chapter will give information about fuel consumption and thermal capacities. This will be followed by an overview on the emissions and location of the ten largest emitting LPS.

This report has been prepared by ETC/AEM as part of project SA2 of the EEA work programme.


1.4. Structure of CORINAIR 90

This emission inventory contains information on the location and activity of sources, as well as about the emission per activity (emission factor, EF). The multiplication of activity and EF gives the emission for each source.

CORINAIR 90 distinguishes 1480 different geographical areas within Europe. Their classification is based on the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) defined by EUROSTAT. These areas are grouped together to form NUTS level 2 (460 areas), NUTS level 1 (172 areas) and NUTS level 0 (29 countries).

Information related to large point sources (LPS) is treated separately within CORINAIR 90. This data is not only assigned to a specific territorial unit but also to the exact location provided in terms of longitude and latitude.

This information consists of physical characteristics of plants, stacks, fuels, operating conditions and emission control technologies, in addition to the actual emission data.

List of pollutants

  • sulphur oxides (SOx as SO2 )

  • nitrogen oxides (NOx as NO2)

  • non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC)

  • methane (CH4)

  • carbon monoxide (CO)

  • carbon dioxide (CO2)

  • nitrous oxide (N2O)

  • ammonia (NH3).

This report confines itself to pollutants which are relevant for large point source emissions. These pollutants are SO2, CO2 and NOx (see chapter about emissions for a justification of this selective approach).

List of emission sources (SNAP code)

The CORINAIR 90 inventory identifies 277 different air emission sources. These are named according to a Selected Nomenclature of Air Pollutants (SNAP level 3). Similar source sectors have been grouped hierarchically under 57 sub-sectors (SNAP level 2) and 11 main sectors (SNAP level 1).

An overview of the emissions of the 11 main sectors has been given in a previous report (CORINAIR 90: Summary Report nr. 1).

The most important source sub-sectors were discussed in the CORINAIR 90: Summary Report nr. 2. For a list of the 57 sub-sectors see appendix B.

Figure 1: Structure of emission source sectors in CORINAIR 90 (SNAP levels)



Only a small number of source sectors are responsible for most of the large point source (LPS) emissions (see Appendix B).

This report therefore uses a simplified source sector definition. Large point sources are addressed in this report under five headings, which include different emission source sectors as defined in CORINAIR 90.

  1. Public Power Plants >300MW
    This LPS source sector includes the SNAP activity: 010101
  2. Industrial Combustion Plants >300MW
    includes the SNAP activity 030101
  3. Refineries
    includes SNAP activities 030201 and 0401

  4. Inorganic Chemical Industries
    includes SNAP activity 0404
  5. Other
    This LPS source sector includes all point sources of other snap activities.

List of countries

With a few exceptions this emission inventory covers the whole of Europe. This report will use the term ‘Europe’ as an equivalent expression for the 29 participating countries as listed in appendix A. This report presents LPS data for all these countries with the exception of Croatia, because LPS data were not available for this report.

All countries (with the exception of Switzerland) have notified the EEA that their CORINAIR 90 inventory is final, meaning that the inventory has been submitted to a number of checks, adjustments and updates and that no further changes are expected from the national expert. However, minor adjustments may be made to improve consistency between countries before publication of the Final CORINAIR 90 Report. The data should be referenced as European Environment Agency: CORINAIR 90; Summary Report nr.3, Large Point Sources.


1.5. Future developments of CORINAIR 90

The next step for CORINAIR is the emission inventory for the year 1994. This next step will provide major improvements over the CORNAIR 90 inventory. It is intended to address more pollutants in a shorter period. For further details see the corresponding study of the EEA (‘Review of CORINAIR 90 - Proposals for Air Emissions 94’).

The ETC/AEM working with national experts will build on the experience gained from the CORINAIR 90 inventory as well as other developments such as related work on the preparation of the joint EMEP/CORINAIR Emission Inventory Guidebook, IPCC Guidebook on Greenhouse Gases, USEPA AP-42 (Fifth Edition) and PARCOM/ATMOS and will provide an inventory for 1994 by the end of 1996.

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