Archives: Press Release

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner responds to IPCC and IEA reports on climate change and renewable energy

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said:

“The IPCC is right to highlight the scale of the challenge ahead if we are to tackle climate change. Net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will be required to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees and Drax is focused on creating a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.

“Since we converted two thirds of the power station in Yorkshire to use biomass instead of coal, we have transformed the business to become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe – delivering carbon savings of more than 80% and enough renewable power for around four million homes. At the same time we are supporting sustainable forestry and improving the world’s long-term forest carbon sinks. But we’re not stopping there.

“We are now investing in a bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project – the first of its kind in Europe, which is due to get underway this autumn.

“This technology has the potential to make the electricity we generate carbon negative, reducing the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Today’s IEA Market Report confirms bioenergy must play a critical role in delivering a secure and sustainable energy system of the future – it can support the grid as more renewables come online and has the potential to help other sectors such as transport and heat to decarbonise – vital if we are to meet the challenge set out by the IPCC.”

Leeds MP visits ‘ground-breaking’ carbon capture company

During the visit to C-Capture’s premises, Rachel Reeves MP heard how a Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot project is expected to get underway at Drax Power Station this autumn, which will be the first of its kind in Europe.

The chemistry being used in the pilot project has been developed by C-Capture – a Leeds University spin-out. During her visit to the company’s facilities, Rachel Reeves, who is MP for Leeds West, got to see some of the equipment which will be installed at Drax Power Station for the pilot.

Rachel Reeves said:

“This BECCS project between C-Capture and Drax is ground-breaking. If it works, it could put Yorkshire and the UK at the forefront of the race to develop the BECCS technology which is essential to tackling climate change. It’s very exciting and I look forward to hearing more as the pilot progresses.”

BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change because the technology will mean the gases that cause global warning can be removed from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced. This means power generation would no longer contribute to climate change, but would start to reduce the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere.

Drax, the biggest power station in the UK, near Selby in North Yorkshire, is investing £400,000 in the BECCS pilot project with C-Capture. Since it converted two thirds of the power station to use biomass instead of coal it has become the biggest single site renewable power generator in the country and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said:

“This BECCS pilot has the potential to make the renewable electricity produced at Drax Power Station carbon negative. If we’re serious about meeting our climate targets, then negative emissions are a must – and BECCS is what’s going to get us there.”

Chris Rayner, founder of C-Capture and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds, added:

“During the six month pilot at Drax, we aim to use our chemistry to capture a tonne of carbon a day and in the process demonstrate that if the project was scaled up we could achieve one of the holy grails of CO2 emissions strategies – negative emissions in power production. That’s where we believe the potential CO2 emissions reductions are likely to be the greatest.”

C-Capture is a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, established through funding from IP Group Plc.

ENDS

Media contacts

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712670888

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07712677177

Editor’s Notes

  • Drax Power Station is the single largest user of sustainable biomass for power in the world – 65% of the electricity it produced in 2017 was renewable, enough to power four million households.
  • Biomass, such as sustainably sourced compressed wood pellets, is a renewable fuel – the CO2 captured when it grew is equal to the emissions it releases when used to generate electricity so it does not contribute new carbon to the biosphere. When coupled with CCS, the overall process of biomass electricity generation removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it releases.
  • The government’s Clean Growth Strategy identified ‘sustainable biomass power stations used in tandem with CCUS technology’ as a potential route to achieving long-term decarbonisation between now and 2050.
  • C-Capture is a spin out from the Chemistry Department at Leeds University and has attracted support from IP Group, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and the CO2 Capture Project for CO2 capture technology, which has potential in a range of areas including biogas upgrading, natural gas sweetening and hydrogen production. 

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax puts innovative robot technology to the test

Hundreds of train movements each month at Drax, the UK’s biggest power station, could soon be managed by the robot – reducing the time needed to check-in fuel deliveries by up to six hours each day.

The innovative pilot project at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire will begin this month (October) within its commercial services team to see if the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help manage the booking in of millions of tonnes of fuel delivered to the power station each year.

An average of 20 freight trains a day deliver the biomass and coal needed at Drax so it can produce the power required to keep the lights on for around six million households.

Predominantly a biomass power generator, more than 70% of the electricity produced by Drax is renewable with the majority of rail deliveries bringing wood pellets into the power station to supply its four biomass generating units.

The process of booking in each rail delivery requires the use of eight separate systems and involves 167 individual steps for one staff member to complete the task, which takes them between four and seven hours to complete, depending on the number of deliveries.

The team believes that the use of a purpose-built, digital robot, which will handle the processes automatically, could deliver the same result in just 40 minutes.

People would then be required to intervene when the robot identifies anomalies and further investigation or more detailed work is required.

They believe the time needed for manual intervention would be cut from up to seven hours per day, to just one – giving individuals six hours back each day to focus on other, more rewarding and engaging tasks.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to improve our operations, to increase efficiency and make staff roles as fulfilling as possible.

“If we can use this robot technology to free up time and allow people to put their skills and expertise to good use, so they’re not getting bogged down in the admin we all love to hate, then I think we’ll see all sorts of benefits, both in terms of efficiencies but also in levels of staff motivation.

“Innovation is at the heart of our business – we were pioneers in transforming the UK’s largest coal-fired power station to become the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe, and are exploring the use of Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage to help us deliver negative emissions and tackle climate change. The use of RPA is another example of how we’re using new technologies to deliver our strategy.”

Beth Clifford, Commercial Services Supervisor, who will be trialling the robot, said:

“Potentially, this could massively reduce the more mundane and tedious parts of my job.

“Having more time to focus on other tasks will hopefully mean I feel like I’m adding more value, will enjoy my job more and can also take on new work which will be more interesting. I can’t wait to see how this goes and my colleagues are the same.”

Vicky Harris, Commercial Service Centre Manager, who is leading the pilot project, said:

“We’ll be measuring how effective the trial is and whether it delivers the savings we expect before a final decision is made about rolling it out.

“But we’re confident this is going to be a really positive development and we will be scoping out other processes at the power station which we think would also benefit from this kind of automation.”

The pilot project using RPA to book-in Drax’s rail deliveries will run for up to a month.

RPA is a form of automation using a software robot that mimics human actions – such as mouse clicks on a computer, but does not engage in any decision-making or the kinds of ‘thought processes’ associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is the simulation of human intelligence by machines.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712 670 888

Mark Duffell
MCD Communications
E: [email protected]
T: 01484 968 238 /07969 080 272

 

Editor’s Notes

  • Two thirds of Drax Power Station now runs on biomass, producing enough renewable power for around four million households.
  • It has plans to repower its remaining two coal generating units to develop high efficiency Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs) with battery storage.
  • If successful it could stop using coal as early as 2023, well ahead of the Government’s 2025 deadline for getting coal off the power system.
  • Drax uses around 7.5 million tonnes of biomass each year, the majority of which comes from north America and Europe.
  • Its UK biomass supply chain runs from coast to coast – Tyne, Hull, Immingham and Liverpool – with an average of 17 biomass trains arriving at the power station per day (over a six-day working week).
  • Each train contains sufficient fuel to provide 815 houses in the UK with enough electricity for a year.
  • Using rail saves approximately 270,000 truck journeys per year and is estimated to save 32,622.50 tonnes of C02 per year.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax staff raise £2,500 for Macmillan

Runners completed either a 5km or 10km route around Drax’s Skylark Nature Reserve as part of the company’s Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event on Friday (September 28).

Each member of the Drax team donated £1 per kilometre to take part in the event with those completing the 10km route climbing to the top of local landmark Barlow Mound which is next to the power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire.

Staff also contributed to Macmillan’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’, by making home-baked cakes and treats to sell in aid of the charity – with staff contributing to cake stalls around the power station site.

The monies raised were then match funded by Drax. In total they raised £2,500 for the charity, which provides support and advice to people with cancer and their families.

Macmillan Area Fundraising Manager for North and East Yorkshire, Clara White, who was on hand to start the race, thanked the runners as they came over the finish line.

She said, “I was delighted to be able to attend the Big Skylark Fun Run – the money raised by Drax Power Station staff is vital to the work we do to help thousands of people affected by cancer and their families across Yorkshire very year.

“Congratulations to all the runners, and thanks also to everyone who baked and bought cakes during the coffee morning. I hope all the runners treated themselves to an extra large slice of cake afterwards – they certainly earned it!”

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner, who participated in the 5k run, said:

“Congratulations to all the staff involved today – it was great to see such a fantastic turn out for a worthy cause. The run has been such a success we hope to make it an annual event.”

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss, who completed the 10k course added:

“The run was a lot of fun – the run up Barlow Mound was a little challenging, but worth it for the views from the top!”

“The work of Macmillan in supporting cancer patients and their families is vital – most of us have been affected by cancer at some point in our lives, so perhaps it’s no surprise that so many of our staff got involved and showed their support. The runners and bakers were brilliant – but the team which organised the event was also fantastic. Well done all.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712 670888

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07712 677177

Editor’s Notes

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Emergency training exercise at Drax Power Station

Emergency services from Yorkshire and Humberside are working with the UK’s largest power station to test their combined capabilities in dealing with complex emergency incidents in the biggest training exercise of its kind at a power station in the region.

A training exercise will be staged at Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, on Saturday September 29 at 11am, when emergency services staff will team up with power station employees to test their skills.

The scenario they will be faced with will include a staged tanker explosion, which for the purposes of the training exercise will cause multiple issues at the industrial site, requiring specialist search and rescue skills to be deployed.

Jez Rushworth, assistant chief fire officer (operations) from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (pictured), said:

“By providing all of the agencies and Drax staff, with an opportunity to test their collective capabilities in this manner it enables us to build on the high level of expertise we already have in responding to and managing very serious and complex incidents across the county.

“We’ll be practicing skills in tackling different kinds of fires, working within unfamiliar industrial environments, managing and minimising environmental hazards, as well as rescuing casualties with a range of injuries – all of which is vital training so when it comes to saving real lives, we’re as prepared as we can be.”

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“At Drax we have an excellent safety record, but as a responsible business and the operator of the UK’s biggest power station we want to do everything we can to reduce the likelihood of emergency incidents happening, as well as minimising their impact should the worst happen

“Creating this complex scenario in a live industrial setting like Drax Power Station, should make it more realistic for everyone involved, so they get the most out of it. The power station will be in operation as normal throughout the event.

“People living nearby might see some smoke at around 11am on Saturday morning as the exercise gets underway. They may also see some emergency services activity on or near the site throughout the day.”

Staff from the following agencies are taking part in the exercise, alongside around 40 staff from Drax Power Station:

  • North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
  • North Yorkshire Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART)
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • The Environment Agency

The staged incident will take place at the southern side of the 1,850 acre Drax Power Station site.

ENDS

Media contacts

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 0771 267 0888

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 0771 267 7177

Photos

Three photos used can be downloaded:

https://www.drax.com/uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2018/09/Drax-test-1email.jpg

https://www.drax.com/uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2018/09/Drax-test-2-email.jpg

https://www.drax.com/uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2018/09/IMG_0203.jpg

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Delivering social, economic and environmental benefits for the Northern Powerhouse region

THE North is well placed to be the driving force behind new technologies that will power the UK for years to come – and power our economy too.

That’s according to Drax’s Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Clare Harbord, who will give the keynote speech at the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce AGM, today (Wednesday September 26) in Leeds.

“As a responsible, sustainable business Drax takes its role in the Northern Powerhouse very seriously. We’re proud of our Yorkshire roots and we’re a growing British company delivering social, economic and environmental benefits across the country.”

Drax contributes more than £500m a year to the Northern economy, employing around 900 people at the power station near Selby, and supporting a further 6,000 jobs in the wider supply chain across the region.

Having been the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station, Drax has transformed itself to become the country’s biggest renewable power generator, and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It has converted two thirds of the power station to use biomass from coal. In the process it has protected jobs and is securing the long term future of the power station.

Clare Harbord, Director of Corporate AffairsClare Harbord explained that there are some major opportunities for the North to be at the heart of innovative new technologies within the energy industry, building on the region’s industrial past and now more recently as a world leader in lower carbon technologies like offshore wind, nuclear and biomass.

“Innovation is a fundamental requirement for the clean growth needed if we are to meet our climate targets – that’s why we’re investing £400,000 in a pioneering bioenergy carbon capture and storage pilot with Leeds University spin out C-Capture, which could enable us to make the power we produce carbon negative.

“If we capitalise on the innovation and expertise we have here, then in the process we can deliver environmental, social and economic benefits for our communities too,” she explained.

“Having a highly skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce is vital to all of this. In the North we already have world-class engineers but we need to do more to invest in the next generation so they have the right education and skills, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

“Businesses have a key role to play and I’m proud to say Drax is working hard to inspire the next generation of engineers through school visits to the power station as well as apprenticeships – we’ve increased our intake of engineering apprentices at the power station by fifty percent this year.

“We’re also supporting academic research within our Northern Powerhouse universities to keep the region at the forefront of developments and maintain our position as world leaders.

“By working together with education providers, academics, businesses, local and regional government and our communities, we can develop opportunities which allow us to reach the great potential we have here in the North.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

 Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712670888

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07712677177

Editor’s Notes

  • Drax announced it is working with C-Capture, a Leeds University spin-out, on the first bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe, earlier this year. The pilot is due to get underway this autumn and is expected to capture a tonne of carbon dioxide each day. Drax is in discussions with the British Beer and Pub Association to see if the CO2 it captures during the trial could be used by the drinks industry.
  • The company converted its fourth generating unit from coal to biomass this summer, enabling it to produce more renewable power at the times the grid needs it the most.
  • Drax is pushing ahead with plans to repower its remaining coal units to gas and develop large-scale battery storage. It’s application for a Development Consent Order has been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate with a decision expected from the Secretary of State for BEIS next year.
  • The government has said it wants there to be no more coal used to generate power in the UK from October 2025. If Drax’s gas plans are approved, it could stop using coal well ahead of the government’s deadline.
  • Drax welcomed 13,000 visitors to the power station near Selby, North Yorkshire, in 2017
  • Its new apprentices began work at the power station last month.
  • Drax is sponsoring PhDs at Sheffield University, researching a range of areas including the impact of human behaviour on vehicle to grid technologies for electric vehicles.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Power station rail project named as best in class

The partnership between Drax Power Station, near Selby, in North Yorkshire and Davis Wagon Services saw a new fleet of freight wagons designed and built to deliver the biomass needed to produce renewable electricity for millions of homes.

It also enabled Davis Wagon Services, a North Lincolnshire-based rail firm, to invest £850,000 in revamping a mothballed Ferrybridge rail yard as a dedicated site to rebrand and maintain the power station’s fleet of 225 unique freight wagons, securing local jobs in the process.

Now, the programme has been named as the ‘Project of the Year’ by industry body the Rail Freight Group in recognition of the innovation involved in the work by Drax and Davis Wagon Services, the UK’s last independent freight wagon manufacturer.

The wagons, which transport biomass from ports on the east and west coasts of the UK to Drax, are maintained at the newly re-opened Ferrybridge yard, just over 20 miles away from the power station.

John Hall, MD of Davis Wagon Services, said:

“This is a monumental achievement for us and to be recognised in this way for the work we’ve done is incredible. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Drax.

“There are so many outstanding projects in our industry, and so to be singled out like this is a huge compliment to everyone who worked on the project.”

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said:

“This was an important project for us and I’m delighted that the innovation and hard work of everyone involved has been recognised in this way.

“These trains deliver up to 20,000 tonnes of biomass every day to the power station playing a vital part in supplying renewable power to millions of homes and businesses. Furthermore, the project has helped support a local business and revitalise a disused facility within the Northern Powerhouse region, which we’re very proud to be a part of.”

The rail project – described as a ‘Northern Powerhouse success story’ in July by government minister Jake Berry – began in 2011 when Drax appointed Davis, along with Lloyds Register Rail (Ricardo) to design and develop bespoke rail wagons to ferry biomass to the power station, the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

It also saw Davis take on the work to maintain the 225 wagons and the firm will also now re-brand each one over the next two years in new livery featuring both Drax and the Northern Powerhouse logos.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Interim Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712670888

Mark Duffell
MCD Communications Ltd
E: [email protected]
T: 01484968238
M: 07969080272

Editor’s Notes

  • The majority of the biomass Drax uses comes from North America and Europe on ships to ports on the east and west coasts of the UK (Immingham, Hull, Port of Tyne and Liverpool). It is then taken to the power station from the ports by rail.
  • Drax has an average of 17 biomass trains arriving at the power station per day (over a six-day working week) in order to supply the pellets needed to generate and supply 15 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity.
  • Each train contains sufficient fuel to provide 815 houses in the UK with enough electricity for a year.
  • The fuel is transported to Drax via rail rather than road, to further reduce carbon emissions, as it is more efficient than road transportation. Using rail saves approximately 270,000 truck journeys per year and is estimated to save 32,622.50 tonnes of C02 per year
  • Independent research by Oxford Economics using 2016 data showed that Drax supported over 18,500 jobs across the country – more than 6,000 of which were across the North of England (Yorkshire and Humber, North West and North East). In addition Drax generated £577m for the Northern Powerhouse regional economy and £1.7 billion for the whole of the UK.

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss comments on Electric Insights report ‘Coal comeback pushes up UK’s carbon emissions’

“The carbon price has been the driving force behind Britain’s decarbonisation. This analysis shows that even with the carbon price, market conditions can be such that coal power can have a resurgence. The UK is getting closer to removing coal from the power system by 2025, but we’re not there yet.

“Even now, with so much coal already removed from the system, emissions from power generation would rise significantly without a strong carbon price, making it very difficult to deliver the clean growth required to meet our climate targets.”

View the report Coal comeback pushes up UK’s carbon emissions

Next generation of engineers kick start careers at Drax

Selby engineering apprentices

The technical apprentice scheme at Drax offers apprentices the chance to learn a trade, develop new skills and launch their career in engineering at the UK’s biggest power station and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

The nine apprentices will be trained in engineering to work within the maintenance department at Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire. They will work on new and recently upgraded plant designed to process biomass and the maintenance of the power station.

Having upgraded two thirds of the power station from coal to use renewable biomass, nearly 70% of the power produced at Drax Power Station, is now renewable – enough for four million households.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“I welcome this year’s apprentices – they have a really bright future ahead of them.

“Apprenticeships are vital to our success as a business. Having talented people at all stages of their careers is important in building and retaining the skilled workforce we need, if we are to continue to innovate and enable the business to grow.

“As one of the major employers in the Northern Powerhouse region, we have an important role to play in helping to drive up standards in education by making sure children and young people have inspirational experiences in the world of work.

“At Drax we’re delivering on that, both by increasing the number of apprenticeships we’re offering and through the outreach work we do with schools and colleges which enables thousands of students to visit the power station each year.”

This year’s apprentices, from Selby, Goole, Doncaster, North Lincolnshire and Gainsborough, are aged between 16 and 19.

Jamie Goodall, 16, from Addingfleet, near Goole, said, “I’m really looking forward to getting some hands-on, practical experience. I was really ready to get out of a school classroom and start learning in a different way, so it’s exciting to be here.”

18-year-old Cameron Shipstone, from Hemingbrough, near Selby, added, “My dad works at Drax and has done so his whole working life. I visited the power station when I was young and saw the scale of everything, and all the interesting things that were going on.

“I then did some work experience at Drax, and realised a career in engineering was so much more appealing than going to uni – I can’t wait to get started now.”

Andy Koss continued, “Many of our engineers, section heads and department managers are former Drax apprentices who have spent 30 years or more at the plant.

“We’re doing a lot of exciting things at the moment so it’s a great time to join – we’ve just successfully converted our fourth generating unit from coal to biomass and we’re also exploring options for repowering our two remaining coal units to gas and developing large-scale battery storage.”

The Drax Apprenticeship Training Scheme is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation.

Drax offers apprenticeships in engineering disciplines as well as business support areas, such as Finance and Business Administration. All opportunities are advertised on our website.

ENDS

Media contact

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 01757 612848

Notes to editors:

  • Drax has a longstanding commitment to STEM learning, with around 13,000 educational visits to the power station each year. These range from primary school pupils to degree level students, and all visits are tailored to the level of the visiting school, college or university.
  • In 2017 Drax welcomed six technical apprentices compared to nine in 2018 – an increase of 50 per cent.
  • To find out more about working at Drax, go to https://www.drax.com/uk/careers/

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk