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Drax secures UK Government planning approval for BECCS

Drax secures UK Government planning approval for BECCS
Drax owns and operates the UK’s largest power station. Based at Selby, North Yorkshire, it supplies four 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. It is also where Drax is piloting the negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area (photo courtesy Drax).

The UK Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, has approved the Development Consent Order (DCO) for Drax Power Ltd's (Drax) plans to convert two of its biomass units at Drax Power Station to the carbon removals technology bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Drax Power Station currently has four biomass generating units and produces around 4 percent of the country’s power and 9 percent of its renewable electricity.

The DCO is a milestone for the project, providing planning consent for its development. BECCS is currently the only credible large-scale technology that can both deliver carbon removals and generate renewable power.

Drax’s BECCS plans will enable Drax Power Station to continue to play a critical role in supporting UK energy security and will enable it to remove approximately 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year when both units are fully operational.

The DCO approval is another milestone in the development of our BECCS plans and demonstrates both the continued role that Drax Power Station has in delivering UK energy security and the critical role it could have in delivering large-scale carbon dioxide removals to meet Net Zero targets, said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group.

Subject to the right support from the UK Government, Drax Group plans to invest billions in its BECCS plans.

According to the company, this could deliver up to 10,000 high-skilled jobs in the Humber at the peak of the project’s construction as well as safeguarding 7,000 direct and supply chain jobs.

Drax’s Group’s ambition is to source up to 80 percent of the materials and services it needs to develop BECCS in the UK from British businesses.

We look forward to working with our supply chain and other partners over the coming years on the project which, when fully operational, will deliver secure renewable power and approximately 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide removals per year. We welcome the ongoing development of policy support for BECCS and the anticipated launch of a consultation on a bridging mechanism for biomass generators to take them from the end of current renewable schemes through to BECCS operations, ended Will Gardiner.

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