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Drax and ABP receive record shipment at UK’s biggest biomass handling facility

In the UK, Associated British Ports (ABP) and Drax have recently received and unloaded the largest shipment of sustainable biomass to arrive at the Port of Immingham, in the UK’s Humber region. The delivery marks an important milestone for the port and the energy company.

On March 13, 2020, the Zheng Zhi bulk carrier berthed at Humber International Terminal, Port of Immingham, UK carrying almost 64 000 tonnes of wood pellets from the US for Drax Power Station. The delivery marks the largest single biomass consignment to date handlined by the biggest biomass Port in the UK (photo courtesy David Lee Photography/ABP).

The Zheng Zhi bulk carrier vessel transported 63 907 tonnes of Drax’s sustainable biomass in the form of wood pellets from the US Port of Greater Baton Rouge in Louisiana (LA). The consignment supplies Drax Power Station with enough fuel to generate electricity for 1.3 million homes.

The vessel completed loading at Baton Rouge on February 23, 2020, and berthed at Humber International Terminal in the Port of Immingham – ABP’s largest terminal, on March 13, 2020.

Our colleagues here on the Humber are working hard to keep our homes powered, our stores stocked and keeping Britain trading. A huge thank you is deserved for all those working through this time. ABP is working around the clock to ensure the wellbeing of employees and customers and the safe continuation of operations, said Simon Bird, Director of ABP Humber.

Over the last decade, Drax has converted four of the power station’s six generating units to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. This has transformed Drax, which supplies 5 percent of the country’s electricity, into the country’s largest renewable power generator and the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Humber International Terminal employs over 100 people and is the world’s largest biomass handling facility. The terminal is part of the Humber ports that have been working hard, 24 hours a day, in keeping Britain trading.

Drax Power Station is a critical national infrastructure at the heart of the UK’s energy system and we take this responsibility very seriously, especially now amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we maintain a continuous, stable and reliable electricity supply for millions of homes and businesses in the UK. This shipment of sustainable biomass from our pellet mills in the US – the largest yet – highlights the critical role played by infrastructure such as the ports and rail in our supply chain, said Andy Koss CEO, Drax Generation.

A cargo from the US typically takes around 17 to 21 days to reach the UK. This vessel is Drax’s 99th shipment from its facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. Drax has shipped 5.1 million tonnes from the Louisiana port on the Mississippi River since 2015. Immingham on the UK’s east coast is Drax’s largest import terminal and is part of a supply chain that runs from coast to coast, including capacity at Tyne, Hull, and Liverpool.

Sustainable biomass wood pellets destined for Drax Power Station unloaded from the Zheng Zhi bulk carrier at ABP Immingham in the UK (photo courtesy David Lee Photography/ABP).

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