Drax to build negative emissions technology

Drax is starting the planning process for a negative emissions technology, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The energy company has already transformed its power station near Selby in North Yorkshire to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe having converted it to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. Now it has applied for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Government to create a BECCS to permanently remove millions of tonnes of CO2 each year from the atmosphere and create a negative carbon footprint for the company.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said: “Kickstarting the DCO process this March is a landmark moment in deploying BECCS at Drax and delivering against our ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.

Drax recently announced the proposed acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, a Canadian wood pellet producer. The deal, which is subject to shareholder and other approvals, would double Drax’s own biomass production capacity, in line with its strategy to increase self-supply, reduce costs and create a long-term future for biomass – paving the way for the deployment of BECCS.

If successful in its DCO application, and subject to the right investment framework from the Government, work to build Drax’s first two BECCS units could get underway in 2024, ready to start capturing and storing up to eight million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Earlier this month Drax sold its four gas power stations and last week announced as part of its 2020 financial results that it will not be progressing plans to develop high efficiency gas power at the Drax site in North Yorkshire.

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