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21 February 2012 |
Establishing a robust
and sustainable biomass supply chain is a critical component in the Drax
Group’s strategy to make the emerging fuel type its main source of power, the
company has revealed.
In its annual results
published today, the group, which operates coal power stations across the UK to
generate electricity, said it wanted to move to becoming a “predominantly
biomass-fuelled generator” and it is making preparations to do so.
Biomass is a renewable energy source made from biological
material from living, or recently living organisms. Drax’s latest calculations found that greenhouse
gas emissions caused by using biomass were 81 per cent lower than the EU
average for fossil fuels.
Drax is waiting for
the for the final details of the government’s support arrangements for
renewable energy that will come into effect from 2013, before going ahead with
the transition, but today revealed details about how it will get supplies of
Drax Group chief
executive Dorothy Thompson, speaking about the supply chain and the purchasing
of biomass, which she described as “critical components”, said: “Despite the
immature and bespoke nature of the supply chain, we believe we will be able to
secure sufficient sustainable biomass to meet our ambition to become a
predominantly biomass-fuelled generator.”
Drax plans to adopt a
diverse purchasing strategy to achieve its aim. It is looking to secure direct
contracts for biomass pellets and unprocessed fibre, which it will then turn
into biomass, while also looking for favourable spot and opportunistic prices
and buying from the international market, mainly the US. Thompson said the company
is also considering making direct investments in biomass pellet plants to gain
greater security of supply.