Drax takes first step toward launching carbon capture programme which could create thousands of jobs

Drax has confirmed it is beginning the process of kickstarting the planning process to use Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in a move which could see millions of tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere and create thousands of jobs.

The North Yorkshire energy company wants to use BECCS to create a negative carbon footprint for the company but in order to deploy it needs a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Government – a process which takes around two years to complete.

Work on acquiring a DCO will get underway this month with the launch of an informal public consultation.

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If successful in its DCO application, and subject to the right investment framework from Government, work to build Drax’s first two BECCS units could get underway in 2024, ready to start capturing and storing up to eight million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Drax

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “Kickstarting the DCO process this March is a landmark moment in deploying BECCS at Drax and delivering against our ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030.

“At Drax we are very proud of the great strides already made in transforming the business to become the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator, producing enough renewable electricity for up to four million homes and protecting thousands of jobs in the process.

“With BECCS we can go even further – we will be permanently remove millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere and making a significant contribution to efforts to address the climate emergency, whilst creating thousands of new jobs and supporting a post-Covid, economic recovery.”

The news comes a year after Drax said it would end almost 50 years of commercial coal-fired electricity generation at Drax Power Station this month.