Louisiana governor visits UK’s Drax Power Station – the largest importer of US agricultural goods – to see Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project ahead of COP26

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards has visited Drax Power Station – the UK’s largest renewable power generator – ahead of attending the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow to see how Drax is leading the way in reducing emissions from the UK energy system.

The state of Louisiana is central to Drax’s global operations, with its sustainable wood pellet production industry helping keep the lights on for millions of UK homes and businesses. Drax is the largest agricultural importer by value from the US to the UK, and a critical international trade partner.

Drax’s operations in Louisiana and Mississippi indirectly supports more than 1,200 jobs, alongside 300 direct jobs across the two states in our three pellet mills and at the port of Greater Baton Rouge – generating over $45 million dollars a year in additional household income.

Louisiana is home to the headquarters of Drax Biomass in Monroe, with the company’s LaSalle and Morehouse pellet plants based in the state as well. Drax also operates an export facility in the Port of Baton Rouge to ship sustainable biomass to the UK and to its customers around the world. These facilities directly employ more than 200 people.

During his tour of the power station, Gov. Edwards learned more about Drax’s plans to deploy ground-breaking bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Following the visit, Gov.Edwards and a delegation from Drax are attending the critical COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Jason Shipstone, Drax Chief Innovation Officer, said:

“We were very happy to welcome Governor Edwards to Drax so he could see for himself how sustainable biomass from Louisiana is helping keep the lights on for millions of UK homes and businesses.

“Our exciting plans to use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) mean Louisiana could play an even greater role in addressing the climate crisis, as we aim to develop the world’s biggest negative emissions power station, permanently removing eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year by 2030.”

BECCS is a critical negative emissions technology which permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and will be needed globally in order to address the climate crisis. It could also create exciting export opportunities and kickstart a whole new sector of the economy, creating thousands of green jobs.

Gov. Edwards said:

“I am impressed with the scale and technology of this world-class power generation facility. Moving to net zero will require investments that replace coal fired plants and Drax can achieve this with negative emissions of CO2. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Drax in Louisiana in the future.”

Drax is working with Bechtel to explore the potential to develop new-build BECCS projects overseas, including in the USA.

ENDS 

Picture caption: Jason Shipstone, Drax Chief Innovation Officer, (Left) with Governor Edwards and delegation at Drax Power Station

Media contacts: 

Aidan Kerr
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07849090368

 Editor’s Notes

  • Drax’s operates 11 pellet plants across the USA and Canada, making it a world-leading biomass pellet production and supply business.
  • BECCS at Drax Power Station will deliver at least 8m tonnes of negative emissions a year – equivalent to 15% of the negative emissions the UK’s Climate Change Committee says are required from BECCS in 2050 to hit the UK net zero target.
  • Leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC and UK Climate Change Committee have said that the world cannot address the climate crisis without negative emissions from technologies like BECCS, which permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Drax announced last week the planning process to deliver BECCS was moving to the next stage to consult with local communities.
  • Work to build BECCS at Drax could get underway as soon as 2024, with the creation of thousands of jobs.
  • Subject to the right regulatory support, the first BECCS unit could be operational in 2027, with the second commissioned in 2030, enabling Drax to achieve its world-leading ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.
  • Earlier this year Drax announced it was partnering with Bechtel to explore options and locations for new BECCS plants globally alongside working with Pheonix BioPower to innovate on how to drive down costs of second-generation BECCS technology.

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 3,400 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.

Power generation:

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.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. 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 mills supply around 20% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Customers: 

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

For more information visit www.drax.com