By Ellen Cools
In its capital markets day release on Dec. 1, Drax announced that it plans to double its biomass pellet production capacity from four megatons (Mt) per year to eight Mt per year by 2030. This will require the development of more than three Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. In order to achieve this additional capacity, the company said it is developing a “pipeline of organic projects,” focused on North America.
The company also announced plans to double the amount of pellets it sells to third parties, from two Mt to four Mt per year, with a focus on Asia and Europe. Drax currently has 13 operational pellet plants with a capacity of four Mt per year, two plants under commission and other developments in the works that will increase capacity to five Mt.
As part of the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, the company is also working to expand its bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Drax Power Station, targeting eight Mt per year of negative CO2 emissions by 2030.
“Drax has made excellent progress during 2021 providing a firm foundation for further growth. We have advanced our BECCS project – a vital part of the East Coast Cluster that was recently selected to be one of the UK’s two priority CCS projects. And we’re now setting out a strategy to take the business forward, enabling Drax to make an even greater contribution to global efforts to reach net zero.
We believe Drax can deliver growth and become a global leader in sustainable biomass and negative emissions and a UK leader in dispatchable, renewable generation. We aim to double our sustainable biomass production capacity by 2030 – creating opportunities to double our sales to Asia and Europe, where demand for biomass is increasing as countries transition away from coal.
As a global leader in negative emissions, we’re going to scale up our ambitions internationally. Drax is now targeting 12 million tonnes of carbon removals each year by 2030 by using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This includes the negative emissions we can deliver at Drax Power Station in the UK and through potential new-build BECCS projects in North America and Europe, supporting a new sector of the economy, which will create jobs, clean growth and exciting export opportunities,” said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, in a statement.
Read the full capital markets day release here.