Drax Biomass donates $20,000 to help Louisiana communities rebuild two vital public buildings

Drax Biomass is donating a total of $20,000 to help communities in northern Louisiana rebuild two hurricane-damaged public buildings at the heart of both the small rural towns.

The funds donated will help pay for repairs to the roof of Urania’s recreation hall – where the town’s residents gather for dinners to mark Veterans Day and other holidays and to play pool or use the bowling lanes – as well as helping to rebuild the public pavilion in the town of Olla, that hosts events from farmers markets to weddings. Each project received $10,000 from Drax.

Mayor of Olla, Rhonda Elliott presenting the cheque donated by Drax

Matt White, SVP Drax Biomass.

Drax Biomass Senior Vice President Matt White said:

“This year has been hard for many people in this region – the Covid-19 pandemic, a tornado and then Hurricane Laura in August, which hit these two buildings at the centre of community life in Olla and Urania.

“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 repair and rebuild the rec hall in Urania and the public pavilion in Olla.”

Drax Biomass, part of British energy company Drax Group, is headquartered in Monroe, La., with operations in the southeastern U.S. The company is committed to supporting the communities in which it operates by promoting sustainable forestry and investing in local economic development. One of the three pellet mills it owns and operates is located in Urania.

Urania Mayor Terri Corley said:

The pavilion in Olla, LA, was a popular location for events ranging from the farmers market to weddings and other celebrations.

“The Urania rec hall is full of memories for all our citizens – both old and new. We are so grateful that Drax, one of the newest members of the Urania family, recognizes the importance of the building and wants to invest in repairing the roof. This will help ensure we get to make more memories for many years to come.”

Olla Mayor Rhonda Elliott said: “We really appreciate this support from Drax Biomass for our small town. The donation will boost our efforts to rebuild the pavilion so we can once again hold the farmers market our town is well known for.”

Drax Biomass produces sustainable compressed wood pellets at its pellet plants in Louisiana and Mississippi. The pellets 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 sustainably managed working forests of the US southeast. The plants also deliver economic growth and jobs in the US south.

Top image caption: Damage to the public pavilion in Olla, LA by Hurricane Laura.

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

  • 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.
  • Earlier this year, Drax received and unloaded its 100thshipment 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.

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.

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.

For more information visit www.drax.com