Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner responds to “Track-1” cluster announcement

The East Coast Cluster (ECC) has been named as one of the UK’s first carbon capture, usage and storage clusters following a successful bid to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner in the control room at Drax Power Station

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group, said:

“Today’s Government announcement is welcome news, and a crucial next step on the UK’s decarbonisation journey. Drax’s bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project will play a vital role in the East Coast Cluster, enabling the UK’s most carbon intensive regions decarbonise helping the UK to reach net zero.

“BECCS at Drax will protect and create tens of thousands of jobs, whilst showcasing the UK’s global leadership in a vital negative emissions technology. The first BECCS unit at Drax could be operational in 2027, delivering the world’s largest carbon capture project, permanently removing millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, playing a vital role in the fight against the climate crisis.”

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  • The Humber and Teesside industrial clusters make up 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions, so decarbonising these regions will have the biggest impact on the UK reaching net zero.
  • Drax would act as an anchor project for Zero Carbon Humber, protecting and creating tens of thousands of jobs, kickstarting a new green industry for the region.
  • The East Coast Cluster is made up of both Zero Carbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside, supported by the Northern Endurance Partnership – a collaboration between bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total, with bp leading as operator.
  • Drax is ready to invest more than £2bn in two BECCS units at Drax Power Station, with the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
  • BECCS at Drax can permanently remove at least eight million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, whilst supporting the creation of a new global industry in the UK, delivering tens of thousands of jobs in a new green economy. This builds on what we have already achieved with sustainable biomass, in transforming a coal fired power station to become Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project.
  • The UK has decarbonised its energy system faster than any other country’s as a result of the support the government made available to renewables like offshore wind, solar and biomass. With the right policies, the same could be achieved for negative emissions technologies – demonstrating the same, global climate leadership the UK has a track record of delivering.
  • Drax Power Station produces 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity, keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses.
  • We have reduced our emissions by more than 90% in the last decade and Drax is now one of Europe’s lowest carbon energy generators.