The tour was guided by members of Drax’s sustainable forestry team Alexandra Sullivan, Bretta Palmer, Aaron Clark, and Steven Galloway, who took the participants through Drax’s procurement, pelleting, and shipping processes at its LaSalle Bioenergy pellet plant.
The LFA Educator’s Tour is used to inform educators of Louisiana’s renewable resources, including water, wildlife, and woodlands.
Gracee Texada, LFA Program and Training Administrator, said:
“It is so important that our future generation learn the importance of forestry and these experiences help our participants to be better educators about Louisiana’s renewable resources. These tours empower them with real life experiences related to our valuable industries and enable them to pass this knowledge on to our youth and to their colleagues.”
Participants visit different harvest operations and manufacturers of forest products across Louisiana which offer them hands-on field experience to bring back to their classrooms and organizations.
Bretta Palmer, Drax Sustainability Manager, said:
“The Educator’s Tours are important for us as it’s an opportunity for us to give these individuals an insight into our processes and controls and show the positive impacts we have in the area. This empowers them with the knowledge and confidence to return with a positive message to their students about the wood products industry.”
The LFA holds its annual Educator’s Tour to provide a better understanding of the wood products industry for educators, 4-H groups, scout leaders, wildlife employees, students, and others in the surrounding communities.
Kyla Cheynet, Drax Sustainability Director, said:
“The LFA’s Educator’s Tour provides us with an opportunity to illustrate the products, processes, and jobs that are involved in the wood products industry to our current educators. We are able to show them the importance of using sustainable processes to help preserve and enrich our environment as much as possible.”
The mission of the Louisiana Forestry Association is to be an advocate for the sustainable growing, harvesting and manufacturing of Louisiana’s forests and for the people whose livelihoods depend on these forest resources.
Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations and is this year drawing up plans for a more targeted community spend.
In 2021, Drax supported education and skills in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama and provided donations to help communities hit by natural disasters and Covid and work to support sustainable forestry.
Photo caption: Drax’s LaSalle Bioenergy biomass pellet plant
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- Through its operations in Louisiana and Mississippi, Drax supports more than 1,200 jobs and contributes $175m to the region’s economy.
- This includes more than 1,200 jobs in Louisiana and Mississippi with 300 direct jobs across these two states in Drax’s three pellet mills and at the port of Greater Baton Rouge.
- Drax’s pellet mills also support the wider supply chain of loggers, truckers, railway workers, port workers and other logistics professionals.
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
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 17 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.
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 www.energy.drax.com