[POWER article] UK’s Drax eyes U.S. for bioenergy CCS expansion drive

This article from POWER details Drax’s transition from coal, to biomass, to BECCS and its plans for expansion in the U.S.

The 2.6-GW Drax Power Station in northeastern England—once Western Europe’s largest coal-fired power plant—is poised to pioneer bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), a negative emissions technology. In a move to establish a stronghold on emerging prospects for BECCS, Drax Group has now set out to launch an independent business unit to develop and build new BECCS plants in the U.S.

The move is a remarkable step for Drax Group, a company established in 1967. After the discovery of the Selby coalfield—a deep underground resource in North Yorkshire—the UK’s state-owned Central Electricity Generating Board commissioned Drax Power Station, and the plant, comprising four 660-MW units equipped with Babcock and Wilcox subcritical boilers, was completed in 1975. The Drax plant doubled its capacity in 1986 to 4 GW, and in 1988, it pioneered flue gas desulphurization (FGD) in the UK. After a series of ownership shuffles following the privatization of the UK power sector in the 1990s, Drax Group was founded in 2005.

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