Drax Power

From Global Energy Monitor

Drax Power Limited is "the operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc" and the owner and operator of the 3,870 megawatt coal-fired Drax Power Station. As a part of a consortium the company is also proposing to build the White Rose CCS Project at the Drax Power Station site.


On its website the company states that the power station is "nearly twice the size of the next largest coal-fired power station in the UK" and accounts for approximately 7% of the UK's generating capacity.[1]

Conversion to biomass

Starting May 2013 and through 2015 Drax will switch three of the plant's six boilers over to biomass burning, reducing its coal usage 5 million metric tons a year and burning 7.5 million metric tons a year of imported biomass -- initially mostly wood pellets from managed forests in the United States and Canada. The conversion will cost £700 million ($1.06 billion).[2]

UK Coal Generation Assets

The World Coal Institute lists Drax Power as having 3.9 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations. Drax Power Station is owned by Drax Power Ltd and located in Drax, Selby, North Yorks. It comprises six units and has an installed capacity of 3,870 megawatts. [3] These are:[4][5] The units are fitted with flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment.[1]

Drax Power Plant blockade attempt

On August 31, 2006, around 600 people attempted to shut down the Drax coal-fired power plant in Selby, England, in a widely-publicized action - organized by a variety of environmental groups - that was billed as "the battle of Drax." Several raiding parties of activists were arrested while trying to break through the perimeter fence. A larger crowd of people then pushed through police lines, and were arrested as well. 38 people were arrested throughout the day, in a massive show of force by area police. Many power plant staff didn't show up for the day, and others locked their doors.[6][7]

Drax Carbon Capture and Storage project

The White Rose CCS Project is a proposed 426 megawatt coal-fired power station with carbon capture and storage. In February 2011 a consortium of Alstom UK Ltd, Drax Power Limited and National Grid announced that they were seeking EU NER300 funding for a new oxy-fired CCS demonstration project based at the site of the existing Drax Power Station. The initial media release stated that National Grid, "together with an experienced offshore partner, will develop a transportation system out to the southern North Sea where the CO2 will be permanently stored."[8] In late October 2012 the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that the project had been short-listed as one of four bidders "for the next phase of the UK’s £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition."[9]

Contact Details

Website: http://www.draxgroup.plc.uk/?questionId=52125

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Our business", Drax Group website, accessed June 2008.
  2. Jeremy Lovell, "Europe's 2nd-biggest coal-fired power plant will turn to wood from North America," E&E, April 8, 2013.
  3. CoalPro, "UK", World Coal Institute website, accessed June 2008.
  4. United Kingdom Quality Ash Association, "Power Station Locations and Capacities", undated but after 2006, accessed June 2008.
  5. Mott MacDonald, "UK Coal Production Outlook: 2004-16", Department of Trade and Industry website, Final Report March 2004. See Appendix E: UK Coal Power Stations, page E-1 at the end of the report.
  6. In the Shadow of Drax, Not So Much a Fight as a Festival, The Guardian, September 1, 2006.
  7. Green Protestors Mass to Close 'Drax the Destroyer', Climate Ark website, August 31, 2006.
  8. Alstom, "Alstom confirms joint application for CCS project funding", Media Release, February 10, 2011.
  9. Department of Energy and Climate Change, "Short list for UK’s £1bn CCS competition announced", Media Release, October 30, 2012.

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