Drax Biomass donates $20,000 to help communities affected by Hurricane Laura

Drax Biomass is donating $20,000 to help families in Northeastern and Central Louisiana who were impacted by Hurricane Laura last month.

The funds donated are going to hurricane relief efforts driven by the United Way of Northeast Louisiana and the United Way of Central Louisiana, as well as the Food Banks of Northeast and Central Louisiana.

Matt White, SVP Drax Biomass.

Drax Biomass Senior Vice President Matt White said:

“Hurricane Laura has been devastating to many communities in the region. It’s come at a difficult time as we’re all still dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s important to support the people and communities in the areas where we operate. That’s why we’re donating $20,000 to help local relief efforts. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the hurricane.”

In the immediate relief efforts, United Way focused on food assistance for vulnerable people with limited resources who can’t access mass food distributions and helped people whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the hurricane. The Food Bank distributed food to agencies as well as to people in the impacted areas.

Jean Toth, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana said:

“We’ve faced three disasters this year – the pandemic, a tornado and most recently a hurricane. The support we received from Drax Biomass has helped us set up large, drive-through food distributions in the five most impacted parishes, helping our neighbours replace the food they lost due to power outages.

“Support from local businesses like Drax Biomass has enabled the Food Bank to purchase much-needed food and supplies so we can re-stock our shelves and help those facing hunger in Northeast Louisiana.”

Headquartered in Monroe, LA, with operations in the Southeastern U.S., Drax Biomass is committed to supporting the communities in which it operates by promoting sustainable forestry and investing in local economic development. It is part of British energy company Drax Group.

Drax Biomass produces sustainable compressed wood pellets, which are shipped to Drax Power Station in England and used to generate renewable electricity for millions of UK homes and businesses.

Around two thirds of the sustainable biomass Drax uses each year comes from the US, where Drax owns and operates three pellet plants producing compressed wood pellets sourced from sustainably managed working forests in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The plants also deliver economic growth and jobs in the US south.

“We’ve worked hard to keep our pellet plants operating, while keeping people safe,” White said. “The safety and wellbeing of our employees is paramount, and we have processes in place to ensure people are working safely. We are also in contact with our partners throughout our supply chains to ensure they are doing the same.”

Top image caption: Louisiana National Guard helping at a Food Bank drive-through distribution area in Ruston in Lincoln parish. Credit: Sarah Hoffman

Media contacts:

Annmarie Sartor
Drax Biomass Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: +1 318-801-0046

Selina Williams
Drax Group Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: +44 7912 230393

 Editor’s Notes

  • Drax Biomass is directing $20,000 this month to community hurricane relief efforts to Louisiana parishes including Ouachita, Morehouse and LaSalle
  • Focus areas include Food Banks, United Way of Northeast Louisiana and United Way of Central Louisiana
  • The pellets produced at Drax’s US pellet plants are sent by rail and truck from the plants in Louisiana and Mississippi to Drax’s Baton Rouge export facility before being loaded onto ships for their transatlantic journey.
  • In April, Drax received and unloaded its 100th shipment of sustainable biomass from Baton Rouge.
  • Sustainable biomass is an important part of the UK’s long-term energy mix. Using sustainable biomass instead of coal at Drax Power Station has already delivered carbon savings of more than 80% and made Drax Europe’s largest decarbonization project.

About Drax

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.

Its 2,900-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

Pellet production:

Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. 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 two thirds of 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.  It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.

Customers:

Through its two B2B energy supply brands, Haven Power and Opus Energy, Drax supplies energy to 250,000 businesses across England, Scotland and Wales.

For more information visit www.drax.com