Drax’s BECCS project will be instrumental in delivering UK security of supply, net zero and levelling-up and will be critical to providing certainty as to the future of Drax Power Station.
Drax welcomes the announcement in the Budget of the investment in domestic carbon capture and looks forward to more detail being provided at the end of March.
Through its use of sustainable biomass Drax Power Station already provides millions of homes and businesses across the UK with secure, renewable power and when delivered, BECCS at Drax will be the largest carbon removals project in the world, playing a critical role in enabling the Government to hit its challenging and legally binding net zero commitments. The construction and operation of the project will create and support up to 10,000 jobs, add £700m to UK GDP and ensure that the country can pioneer BECCS at scale, right in the heart of Yorkshire.
Whilst today’s Budget referenced plans to invest billions in carbon capture and storage, Government has not yet provided the clear, tangible support for BECCS which Drax needs to progress development of the £2bn project.Drax’s North Yorkshire power station could deliver carbon removals at scale from 2027, while generating secure, renewable and affordable electricity.
Commenting on today’s Budget, Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer, Drax Group said:
“The UK Government has in Yorkshire a clear opportunity to turn this country into the world leader in carbon removals technology. Whilst we welcome the Government’s ambition to invest billions in carbon capture and storage, we need them to provide us with a firm commitment to BECCS before we invest £2bn in this UK project.
“It is critical that in the planned announcement at the end of the month Government outlines further support for BECCS because this project will be instrumental in delivering security of supply, net zero and levelling-up and providing certainty as to the future of Drax Power Station.
“In order for the UK to be at the forefront of the green arms race, Government must quickly lay out a detailed, timed and funded plan which offers renewable energy companies like Drax the confidence to continue to invest in this country. Over recent months international interest in pioneering BECCS has grown and we are increasingly excited about the opportunities to deploy BECCS in the US and are currently screening over 10 potential new projects there.”
Earlier this month, MPs and business leaders from across the North of England wrote to the Prime Minister and Chancellor and urged them to “show support for scaling up carbon capture solutions in our region” and commit to the East Coast Cluster, including the opportunity to announce BECCS at Drax as a Track 1 project.
A recent poll run by Focaldata* also revealed that 77% of voters across Yorkshire and the Humber want the Government to back Drax’s plans for BECCS at Drax Power Station.
The poll also showed over 80% of local voters believe it is important that the Government delivers on its legal obligation to make the UK economy net zero by 2050 – with over a third of people saying this task is vital.
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* Polling commissioned by Drax Group was run using Focaldata, a research and consumer insight platform, and commissioned by Drax. It was carried out between 24 Feb 2023 and 26 Feb 2023 from a sample size of 1,011 across Yorkshire and the Humber.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.
Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.
The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.
Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.
Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.
Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.
To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com