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Doosan Babcock strengthens partnership with Drax Power

Doosan Babcock, part of the Doosan Group and UK power major Drax Power Ltd have agreed a new long-term contract for the provision of maintenance and outage services to the UK’s largest power station. Worth at least GBP60 million (≈ EUR 67.5 million), the deal continues the strong relationship between both companies dating back to the construction of the plant near Selby, Yorkshire which was started 50 years ago.

Doosan Babcock has entered into a four-year partnership with Drax Power, Andy Colquhoun (left), CEO of Doosan Babcock and Andy Koss, CEO, Drax Power Ltd (photo courtesy Doosan Babcock).

The new four year partnership, with the option for a further four years, will strengthen workforce collaboration and improve efficiencies in maintaining and extending the life of the plant which is responsible for providing 7 percentof the UK’s electricity.

As Drax Power moves towards a low carbon future, Doosan Babcock will continue to be a strategic partner in the evolution of this critical national asset.

Drax Power is one of the most progressive and innovative companies in the global energy sector so we are delighted to deepen our strategic relationship. This new agreement provides a platform for further collaboration in the years ahead as Drax continue to invest and evolve their assets. We have a long and proud history with Drax, from supplying the original boilers over 40 years ago, to supporting Drax as it transforms its business to meet the demands of the modern energy market. This agreement is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, consistently delivering exceptional performance. Just recently we passed the milestone of over 3 million man-hours achieved over 9 outages without a Lost Time Incident dating back to 2014, said Andy Colquhoun, CEO of Doosan Babcock.

Doosan Babcock has supported Drax throughout the full lifecycle in helping to build, maintain and extend the life of Drax Power Station. As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the boilers, Doosan Babcock played a critical role in an unprecedented construction project which involved a workforce peaking at around 8 000.

In 2003 Drax Power Station started co-firing biomass as a renewable energy alternative to coal. Doosan Babcock has supported Drax with research and development of biomass firing equipment through to the full project delivery of key technologies in this conversion process.

A view of the wood pellet storage silos at Drax Power.

A view of the wood pellet storage silos at Drax Power.

Drax’s biomass conversion project was one of the largest power plant modernisation programmes in UK history. Drax committed to transforming the business into a mainly biomass-fuelled generator using wood pellets in place of coal.

It’s vital that Drax continues to operate as reliably and flexibly as possible for the millions of homes and businesses which rely on the electricity we produce. This new contract will bring a closer working relationship with the Doosan Babcock team, delivering efficiencies whilst maintaining the high quality of work and standards of service required to maintain the UK’s biggest power station. We have converted two thirds of the power station to use biomass instead of coal, transforming the business to become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe, said Andy Koss, CEO, Drax Power.

During the summer this year a fourth generating unit was converted from coal to use biomass – enabling Drax to generate more renewable power at the times the grid needs it the most. Around 70 percent of the power produced by Drax is now renewable, enough for four million households.

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