Archives: Press Release

Entwistle update

On May 9, during a regular inspection of the fibre piles at our Entwistle plant, workers observed smoke and followed standard procedure to extinguish the smolder with onsite hoses. Due to the high winds, flames rapidly formed and escalated.  Sparks and embers spread outside our property lines onto the Old Entwistle community sides of the tracks.  Our workers had called 911 for the fire department’s assistance and were able to extinguish the fire in that area before it spread into the neighborhood.

All Entwistle plant workers are safe and no injuries have occurred. The safety of our employees and Entwistle community is our top priority. The Entwistle plant has been placed into an idle state as we work with the fire department to contain the situation as quickly and as safety as possible. Also, CN Railroad has been contacted and is aware of the situation.

If any members of the Entwistle community have been impacted by the situation, we ask that you contact us at [email protected] for questions or assistance.

For the latest updates, please see below:

Monday, May 13 update

Equipment and contractors continued to successfully move the fibre piles and cooling the material. There were no significant hot spots found in the piles today and multiple tours of the wetland with thermal cameras show there were no heat sources.

This will be the last update, but if there are any changes that require further community awareness, we will post them here. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Saturday, May 11 update

Throughout the night the Drax team monitored for any hot spots. There was only one event where a small amount of smoke was visible, which the team quickly responded to, applied water and resolved the issue immediately. Close monitoring of the fibre piles and wooded areas continued through the night with no signs of smolders occurring.

The onsite team is preparing the facility for a restart with members focused on getting all equipment ready to support the pile rolling if required. Inspections of equipment will be completed prior to the restart of operations. All equipment and resources are onsite (excavator operator, bulldozer operator, independent fire truck, water trucks) to continue pond filling and support workers as they continue monitoring of the area. All required hoses, sprinklers and pumps have been placed as required. Winds remain calm – currently at 9 km/hr from the North with potential gusts to 30 km/hr throughout the day. The Drax team will prepare to bring the plant back online with production expected to resume around 11:00 am this morning once all systems are brought safely back online.

NOTE TO COMMUNITY: Unrelated to the facility fibre pile situation, there are reported forest fires in the Grande Prairie and FT McMurray areas which are several hundred kilometers away from the Drax facility but smoke is being blown into the area. This smoke is not coming from the Entwistle plant.

Friday, May 10 Update

At 10pm (May 9) last night, the fire was brought under control with no visible flames. With that positive development, the fire department stood down for the day. Additional contractors were scheduled to support the night shift and additional sprinklers were placed strategically around the fibre pile. There were no significant flare ups overnight. Workers continue to focus on inspections and identifying any small spot smolders around the area.

Drax donates $10,000 to Williams Lake Basketball Association to support female youth program

Renewable energy company Drax today announced a donation of $10,000 to the Williams Lake Basketball Association (WLBA) as part of its commitment to improving the communities it operates in and advancing gender diversity.   

Drax’s donation will help with some of the expenses required for the creation and development of a girls’ basketball team including uniforms, equipment, practice facilities and travel to tournaments.  

“Our aim is to foster a love of the game of basketball as well as provide an inclusive environment where youth can go to feel part of a team and develop their confidence and interpersonal skills,” said Travis Nystoruk, President of the WLBA. “Drax’s donation will help us to expand on our successful basketball teams to include female youth in the Cariboo and take steps towards promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls in sports.”  

Brigette Peel, who coaches the girls’ team, added: “Thanks to the support of Drax, we’ve been able to empower a new generation of female athletes in our community. By investing in our youth, we’re not just funding a team, but opportunities for young women to thrive through sports, fostering confidence, leadership, and a lifelong love for the game.” 

The WLBA is a not-for-profit sports organization which provides basketball for youth aged 4-18 in the Cariboo region. It currently runs three boys basketball teams that competed across the province last year.  

“At Drax, we’re committed to making a lasting, positive impact in the communities and regions where we operate,” said Ian Tencarre, Plant Manager at Drax Williams Lake. “Our focus is to work with local groups and organizations to improve local communities and increase access to skills development. We’re excited to be able to support this initiative to make basketball available to female youth in the Cariboo region.”  

The Drax Community Fund provides grants and donations of up to $10,000 to support local projects and programs that deliver social and economic benefit within the communities where Drax operates. To apply for funding, go to www.drax.com/community-fund. 

Contact Information: 

Megan Hopgood 
Communications Specialist, Canada
1-778-871-4738
[email protected]  

About Drax  

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com/ca    

Drax Foundation gives more than $4.6 million to boost communities 

Drax has released an annual report for its Drax Foundation and Community Fund that shows more than $4.6 million has been donated to support communities across Drax’s global operations. The renewable energy company focused on funding organizations that help underrepresented groups, advance gender equality, and support indigenous communities.  

Organizations that have benefitted from Drax’s funding include those that improve STEM education, access to green spaces, and energy efficiency efforts in schools.  

In Canada, the Drax Foundation and Community Fund provided more than $960,000 to organizations in 2023, including STEM workshops and mentoring partnerships with the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) as part of its work to invest in girls and indigenous communities as future STEM leaders. Through this work over 470 women have participated in 57 STEM workshops and 24 women have participated in mentoring partnerships.  

“STEM skills are life skills, and with access to STEM knowledge, the youth of today can shape their own futures and chart a logical path in a rapidly changing world,” said JeAnn Watson, Director of SCWIST.

A three-year partnership with Science World to increase the educational opportunities for students in the most remote school districts and Frist Nations communities. So far, 1,976 children have participated in the programme covering 16 schools in four communities.  

The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Faculty of Forestry received $81,500 in grant funding supporting 316 children from underserved communities with access to bursaries. The programme called Wild & Immersive encourages children and young people to care for the environment through nature-based experiences.  

“It’s important that we give back to the communities in which we operate and I’m very proud of the work the Drax Foundation has done in its first year,” said Will Gardiner, Drax CEO. “The engagement with our communities and partners has had a positive impact for a lot of people.”

Some additional highlights in 2023 from the Drax Foundation report include: 

  • Providing just over a quarter of its grants for STEM projects, funding education and training for 70,300 children and 637 adults globally.  
  • Providing money to help 20,860 people to access community green spaces and to restore or protect 1,230 hectares of land. 
  • Providing money for local foodbanks, community sports teams, resources for local schools and improved community buildings.  
  • In addition, Drax Group’s Communities in Crisis Fund supported seven disaster relief projects around the world.  

“We are passionate about supporting diverse organizations, to deliver STEM education for those who may not have traditionally had access,” said Gardiner. “And by improving green spaces and energy efficiency in schools, we’re making communities more sustainable. I look forward to seeing the continued support we provide to our communities through the Drax Foundation in the future.” 

To learn more about the Drax Foundation and Drax’s community efforts, visit www.drax.com/community. 

Read the full Drax Foundation Annual Review here: https://www.drax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Drax-Foundation-Annual-Review_2023.pdf

Contact Information: 

Megan Hopgood  
Communications Specialist, Canada
778-871-4738
[email protected]

About Drax 

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit http://www.drax.com/us 

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five 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 and the largest decarbonization project in Europe.  

It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro, and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver four million tons of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year. 

Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Drax donates £112,000 globally to support foodbanks over Christmas

The foodbanks receiving this support serve communities close to Drax sites in England, Scotland, Canada and the USA, providing essential supplies to hundreds of people in these countries who are struggling with the cost of living.

Shona King, Drax Group Head of Community, said:

“Drax has a long history of charitable giving and supporting the communities where we operate. We are on track to donate nearly £3m to good causes during 2023.

“Christmas can be a challenging time of year for individuals and families and it is important that companies do what they can to help people. We hope that these donations will provide much needed support to foodbanks across England, Scotland, Canada and the USA to meet the demand for their services.”

Canada

A combined total of £39,000 or $65,000 (CAD) has been donated to foodbanks near Drax sites in Canada including:

  • Boys and Girls Club Okanagan Armstrong Food Bank by Armstrong Pellet Mill
  • Lake District Family Enhancement Society near to Burns Lake Pellet Mill
  • WEE Community Food Bank close to Entwistle Pellet Mill
  • High Level Native Friendship Centre near High Level Pellet Mill
  • Lumby Food Bank near to Lavington Pellet Mill
  • Nourish Food Bank close to Meadowbank Pellet Mill
  • Salvation Army close to Drax’s Prince George office
  • Princeton Food Bank near to Princeton Pellet Mill
  • Salvation Army Bulkley Valley close to Smithers Pellet Mill
  • Greater Vancouver Food Bank by Drax’s Vancouver office
  • Salvation Army Prince Rupert near to Westview Wood Pellet Terminal
  • Salvation Army Williams Lake close to Williams Lake Pellet Plant

Tamara Robinson, Director of Family Services and Community Outreach at Salvation Army Williams Lake, said:

“On behalf of The Salvation Army Williams Lake I deeply thank Drax for their incredible generosity to our community, supporting us as we serve those in need. It’s because of caring hearts like yours that we are able serve in the capacity we do.”

England

A combined total of £32,000 has been donated to foodbanks near Drax sites in England including:

  • Bow Food Bank near to Drax’s London head office
  • 2 Rivers Community Pantry and Selby Community Fridge close to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire
  • The Hope Centre, Kettering District Foodbank and Weston Favel Centre near Opus Energy in Northampton
  • BME Support, St Matthews Church Top Up Shop, Love Ipswich and All Hallows Top Up Shop near to Drax Energy Solutions (DES) in Ipswich

Additionally, nearly 300 festive hampers have been prepared by DES colleagues to be distributed by Love Ipswich to vulnerable people.

Chris Hailey-Norris, Chief Executive of Up for Yorkshire, said:

“Thank you so much for the generous donation from Drax. The funding will enable us to top up the Community Fridge with essential additional food items on a weekly basis.

“The Community Fridge is a lifeline to so many families across Selby District, and a wonderful opportunity to connect people with the other support and services we can provide. Your support means so much to our organisation.”

Scotland

A combined total of £20,000 has been donated to foodbanks near Drax sites in Scotland including:

  • Hope Kitchen Oban near to Cruachan Power Station
  • View Park Food Bank close to Daldowie Fuel Plant
  • Clydesdale Food Bank by Lanark Hydro Scheme
  • Stepping Stones by Galloway Hydro Scheme

Catriona Petit, Service Manager at Hope Kitchen Oban, said:

“It was a welcome surprise to receive this money. People we support are finding it particularly difficult this year with the cost of living crisis and so having money that we can use to provide people with food, activities and places to meet and get involved is invaluable.”

USA

A combined total of £21,000 or $25,000 (USD) has been donated to foodbanks near Drax sites in the USA including:

  • Louisiana:
    • Food Bank of Northeast LA close to both Drax’s Monroe office and Morehouse Pellet Plant
    • Food Bank of Central LA near to LaSalle Pellet Plant
  • Mississippi:
    • Amite River Baptist Association Food Pantry near to Amite Pellet Plant
  • Alabama:
    • West Alabama Food Bank close to Aliceville Pellet Plant
    • Demopolis Food Pantry near to Demopolis Pellet Plant
  • Arkansas:
    • Mainstreet Mission Food Pantry by Russellville Pellet Plant
    • Kathy’s Closet and Food Pantry near to Leola Pellet Plant

“The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Drax Biomass to provide more nutritious food to our neighbors who face hunger,” said Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana Executive director Jean Toth. “Thanks to both financial and volunteer support from Drax Biomass, together we are creating a stronger, healthier community.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

Andy Low
Media Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 07841 068 415

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five 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 and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.

Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Customers: 

Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website energy.drax.com

To find out more information about the Drax Foundation go to the website www.drax.com/community

Drax applauds the government of Canada’s commitment to biomass technologies as highlighted in the Fall Economic Statement

Drax commends the Government of Canada on the inclusion of biomass-using technologies in the Clean Technology and Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credits from the Fall Economic Statement (FES) released this week.

Biomass is a key component of the clean energy sector with the potential to reduce reliance on diesel fuel in rural and remote communities. It is a proven dispatchable, renewable fuel source in the fight against climate change, further supporting thousands of Canadian jobs and contributing millions to local economies and an important player in a broad spectrum of technologies needed to achieve net zero.

“We are encouraged by the Canadian government’s commitment to clean energy and the recognition of biomass-used technologies as a crucial component in achieving a cleaner future,” said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax. “Leading climate bodies and scientists agree that biomass has an important role to play in climate mitigation – as a sustainable feedstock, as a renewable energy resource, and as a carbon removals technology through Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).”

Sustainably sourced biomass is renewable and provides reliable, flexible generation that enables technologies such as wind and solar, to connect to the grid. Sustainable biomass also supports a vital carbon-negative emissions technology (BECCS) which will be needed around the world to meet climate commitments.

“Working on both sides of the Atlantic, Drax is focused on enabling a zero-carbon, lower-cost energy future,” said Gardiner. “Drax’s ambition is to be the world’s leading provider of carbon removals through BECCS.”

BECCS is vital to energy security. Drax’s ambition through BECCS is building large-scale carbon removal facilities, creating thousands of jobs in new clean energy technology and generating dispatchable, renewable power using sustainably sourced biomass for homes and industries – while supporting the growth of the forestry sector and other intermittent energy sources.

With the right policy framework, and further announcements such as the one in the FES, Drax believes that Canada could be an ideal location to deploy BECCS, given its access to one of the world’s greatest fibre baskets, well-established sustainable forestry sector, and suitable geology for CO2 storage.

“Supporting BECCS deployment in Canada would kick start a whole new sector of the economy, creating green growth on an even greater scale, creating additional jobs, and investing in rural economies unlike what we have previously seen,” said Gardiner.

In Canada, Drax has invested over $830 million in the Canadian forestry sector, supporting more than 10,000 jobs and contributing $1.1 billion to the nation’s GDP in 2021.

Drax looks forward to working closely with the Canadian government to advance the biomass industry further and create opportunities for forest workers, including through meaningful partnerships with First Nations communities and businesses.

Contact Information:

Caroline Bleay 
Communications Manager, Canada
780-502-1571
[email protected]

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information, visit http://www.drax.com/ca

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year. Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.

Drax Foundation donates more than $450,000 aiding Canadian organizations focused on supporting indigenous communities

Renewable energy company Drax has announced that five Canadian non-profits will receive over $450,000 from the second round of Drax Foundation donations. The latest round of funding will go to programs that benefit Indigenous communities, as well as over 1,200 children in programs through STEM education, and 20,000 people through the protection of biological diversity and sustainable forest management. 100% of these grants will reach underserved groups. 

The organizations receiving the donations are Actua, Nature Trust of BC, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), UBC Faculty of Forestry Alex Fraser Research Forest and the Williams Lake First Nation. 

“These organizations invigorate the communities they work in and have lasting impacts on the people and areas they serve,” said Sandy Sung, Community Manager for Drax Canada. “We are guided by the needs and expertise of our non-profit partners, and that’s why we prioritize funding for some of their harder-to-fundraise for areas of work.” 

The non-profits all work to better their communities through targeted programing, education, improving local greenspaces, enhancing biodiversity and supporting Indigenous communities in and around the areas where Drax has operations. 

Actua, which will receive $100,000, works with a network of colleges and universities to engage youth from across the country in transformational STEM learning experiences that build critical employability skills and confidence.

“I’d like to thank the Drax Foundation for its generous support as their focus in supporting STEM education, and advancing equity and access to STEM education resonates with Actua’s mission,” said Jennifer Flanagan, CEO of Actua. “This partnership will significantly strengthen our combined work in building a future that’s inclusive and fair for everyone.” 

The Nature Trust of BC, which will receive $100,000, conserves BC’s biodiversity through securing, restoring and managing ecologically significant lands.

“Through the generous support of the Drax Foundation, we will be able to enhance approximately 20 hectares of ingrown forest at our Hoodoos Westside Conservation Area near Fairmont Hot Springs, BC,” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of British Columbia. “These funds will allow crews to open up the forest stand to improve wildlife and biodiversity habitat values, for species including the Mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk and American badger, while also increasing its resilience to wildfire and forest health issues like disease and pests.” 

SCWIST, which will receive $97,000, creates an environment where women and girls in Canada can pursue their interest, education and careers in STEM without barriers.

“STEM skills are life skills, and with access to STEM knowledge, the youth of today can shape their own futures and chart a logical path in a rapidly changing world” says JeAnn Watson, Director of SCWIST. 

The Alex Fraser Research Forest, which will receive $80,000, is improving green spaces to create opportunities for research, education and demonstration of sustainable forest management.

“UBC Forestry’s Wild & Immersive (W&I) program is honoured to be awarded a grant from the Drax Foundation that will be directed towards developing a publicly accessible trail in Williams Lake,” says Stephanie Ewen, Manager of the Alex Fraser Research Forest. “In addition, we are incredibly grateful to the Drax Foundation for contributing to establish a bursary fund that will make it possible for families with financial constraints to access our programming.”  

The Williams Lake First Nation, which will receive $80,000, works to better Indigenous communities and share the traditional knowledge of their ancestors.

“Williams Lake First Nation will utilize a grant supplied by Drax Foundation to develop environmental objectives specifically bolstering our commitment to stewardship,” says the Williams Lake First Nation Natural Resource Management Department. . “This generous contribution will assist the community in designing crucial plans and maintaining our cultural identity, as well as preserving our connection to these Secwepemc lands.” 

Launched in March 2023, the Drax Foundation funds initiatives that support education and skills development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces, enhance biodiversity and support Indigenous communities within the communities Drax operations. To learn more about the Drax Foundation and community projects that Drax has previously funded, visit https://drax.com/ca/news/.  

Previous organizations that have received funds from the Drax Foundation include Connected North, Scientists in School and The Exploration Place.  

Contact Information: 

Caroline Bleay
Communications Manager, Canada
780-502-1571
[email protected] 

 About Drax 

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information, visit http://www.drax.com/ca 

Pellet production and supply: 

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year.Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Drax partners with Science World to deliver STEM education programs to rural elementary schools

Drax today announced a three-year partnership with Science World, which will bring STEAM education programs to rural British Columbia (BC) elementary schools, in alignment with Drax’s community funding to improve equitable access to STEM education and skills development in and around the communities where we operate.   

Science World is the leading science centre in British Columbia that engages learners across the province in STEAM education. Through the interactive hands-on exhibits as well as the organizations’ outreach programs, students, teachers and families across BC are inspired to be the next generation of problem solvers and world changers.  

“At Science World, our core belief is ‘Science for All,’ and this collaboration allows us to extend that commitment into rural and underserved communities across BC.” said Tracy Redies, President & CEO of Science World. “Through the On The Road program, we’re not just bringing science education to schools; we’re sparking curiosity and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and environmental stewards. Together with Drax, we’re making science accessible, relatable, and most importantly, fun for everyone.”  

“At Drax, we’re committed to making a lasting, positive impact in the communities and regions where we operate,” said Sandy Sung, Drax’s Community Manager for Canada. “Our focus is to work with local groups and organizations to improve local communities, enhance green spaces and biodiversity, and increase access to STEM education and skills development.”  

Drax’s partnership with Science World will focus on On The Road – the in-school community program that Science World develops and implements province wide. Through the On The Road program, students across the province have their curiosity of science piqued. The program also boosts science literacy and inspires future science and technology leaders.  

“This partnership is really exciting for us because early STEM education is a key focus of the Drax Foundation and Drax Community Fund,” Sung said. “Over the next three years we have the ability to help bring cutting edge, educational, and fun live demonstrations and activities to students in remote, rural and underserved communities across British Columbia.”  

The On The Road program has been touring the province and visiting schools, festivals and public events since 1988. With the help of donours and the provincial government, the program has been able to increase its reach and provide free school visits in communities, both large and small, across BC. The high energy presentations are curriculum linked and provide an unforgettable science experience to over 30,000 students each year thanks to support from tour partners and sponsors. 

Contact Information: 

Caroline Bleay
Communications Manager, Canada
1-780-502-1571
[email protected]  

About Drax  

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com/ca    

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five 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 and the largest decarbonization project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro, and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver four million tons of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year. 

Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

STEM Education across Canada and in Indigenous Communities Gets Boost from Drax Foundation

Drax has announced its first round of grant recipients who will be receiving funding from the newly created Drax Foundation. Launched in March 2023, the Drax Foundation funds initiatives that support education and skills development in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces, enhance biodiversity, and support Indigenous communities within the communities Drax operations.  

In Canada, the Drax Foundation has donated a total of $150,000 across three organizations: Connected North, Scientists in School and The Exploration Place.  

“These organizations have spearheaded important initiatives in their respective fields that have lasting impacts in their local communities,” said Sandy Sung, Community Manager for Drax. “Additionally, they each represent the diversity of our local communities which aligns with our values of being a people, climate and nature positive company.” 

Connected North, which received $22,000, is a nonprofit whose focus is on connecting Indigenous students and teachers in remote communities through technology, helping to deliver virtual learning experiences and opportunities not available locally.    

“We are grateful for this contribution from the Drax Foundation because it will help support delivering live, interactive learning experiences for students in remote communities,” said Michael Furdyk, Co-Founder of Connected North. “These funds will also provide the necessary materials and resources that schools need to fully participate in the hands-on experiences that reach across subjects and grade levels.” 

Scientists in School, which received $48,000, ignites scientific curiosity through virtual STEM enrichment workshops. These programs are led by dynamic presenters who are experts in their fields, the curriculum-enhancing workshops enrich learning and bring real-world science and engineering into the hands of students.   

“It’s through funding programs like the Drax Foundation that allow us to broaden the impact and important work that Scientists in School does,” said Diane Smit, Regional Manager for Scientists in School. “The Drax Foundation’s generosity will go a long way in helping us reach all youth, igniting their scientific curiosity so that they question intelligently, learn through discovery and connect scientific knowledge to their world. With thanks to the Foundation’s support, we will be able to expand our virtual workshop offerings free of charge to students in new regions of Alberta and BC.”

The Exploration Place, which received $80,000, is a nonprofit that provides learning opportunities through a unique museum setting that fosters an understanding of significant past and present issues shaping the Prince George community. 

“Thanks to the generosity of this grant, we are now able to run free school initiatives for classrooms in Northern BC,” said Robyn Curtis, VP Partnerships and Development, The Exploration Place. Without this funding from the Drax Foundation, it would not be possible to expand the reach and access of our programming.”  

With two funding opportunities each year, the Drax Foundation provides grant funding for projects and programs that deliver socio-economic change in the regions where Drax operates. 

“As Drax continues to grow, we are committed to building lasting relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses,” said Mark Puglas, Director of Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships for Drax. “It’s only through these partnerships, business enterprises and committing to our community through programs like the Drax Foundation that we can have true reconciliation and strong economies.”  

Learn more about the Drax Foundation and opportunities for funding at https://www.drax.com/ca/about-us/our-communities/   

About Drax  

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit http://www.drax.com/ca  

Power generation:  

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five 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 and the largest decarbonization project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tons of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 19 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tons a year. 

Drax is targeting 8 million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia. 

Drax applauds Canada’s budget commitment to biomass and clean energy investments

Drax, a leading producer and supplier of sustainable biomass, commends the Government of Canada on its recent Budget 2023 plan that supports significant investments in clean energy technologies and the need for biomass to achieve a clean economy. 

The Budget 2023 plan specifically highlights biomass as a key component of the clean energy sector, acknowledging its potential to reduce reliance on diesel fuel in rural and remote Indigenous communities. The government has also pledged to engage with the biofuels industry to explore opportunities for growth, including examining support mechanisms for low-emissions fuels. 

“We are excited by the Canadian government’s commitment to clean energy and the recognition of biomass as a crucial component in achieving a cleaner future,” said Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax. “Biomass is a win-win for Canada as it is not only viewed by leading scientists as a dispatchable, renewable fuel source in the fight against climate change, it also supports thousands of Canadian jobs and contributes millions to local economies.” 

Drax has invested over $830 million in the Canadian forestry sector, supporting more than 10,000 jobs and contributing $1.1 billion to the nation’s GDP in 2021. The company utilizes 81% sawmill residues to produce biomass pellets, with the remainder consisting of material collected from harvest residuals and low-grade wood, such as tops and branches, low-quality trees or parts that are diseased or misshapen. The market for low-grade wood helps improve the health and productivity of forests while reducing wildfire risks and disease. 

“We look forward to working closely with the Canadian government to further advance the biomass industry and opportunities for forest workers, including through meaningful partnerships with First Nations communities and businesses,” said Gardiner. 

Budget 2023 also calls for the allocation of $500 million to the Strategic Innovation Fund to support the development and application of clean technologies in Canada. Additionally, the fund will direct up to $1.5 billion of its existing resources towards projects in sectors including clean technologies, critical minerals and industrial transformation. 

Drax has a goal is to become the global leader in carbon removals by deploying bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This includes building large scale carbon removal facilities, creating thousands of jobs in new clean energy technology and generating dispatchable, renewable power for homes and industries – while supporting the growth of the forestry sector and other intermittent energy sources. 

“Drax stands ready to support Government on the development of a technology-inclusive approach to the carbon contracts for difference announced in Budget 2023,” said Gardiner. “Appropriate policy mechanisms are critical to incentivise investment in carbon dioxide removal technologies like BECCS, and we welcome this positive step to develop a BECCS industry in Canada.”

Media contact:

Caroline Bleay
Communications Manager
E: [email protected]
T: 778-897-1712