Drax to develop bio-energy with CCS technology


United Kingdom – Drax is expected to launch the planning process for its plans to develop a zero emissions, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology, marking a significant step in the initiative.

The energy company has now turned its power plant near Selby in North Yorkshire into the largest decarbonization initiative in Europe, transforming it into to use renewable biomass instead of coal.

Negative carbon footprint

It now has plans to go further by using BECCS to permanently eliminate millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year and to create a negative carbon footprint for the firm.

In order to implement this negative emission technology, Drax must obtain the Government’s Development Consent Order (DCO) – a procedure that will take about two years to complete and which will be initiated in March.

Wood pellet acquisition

Drax has recently announced the planned purchase of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. – a Canadian wood pellet maker. The agreement, which is subject to shareholder and other approvals, will double Drax’s own biomass production potential, in line with its plan to maximize self-supply, minimize costs and build 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 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.