Sustainable biomass pellet producer Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. and Drax Group’s US pellet business Drax Biomass Inc. are rebranding as Drax in a move that supports the Group’s growth strategy, climate goals and relationships with people – including our colleagues, communities, partners, customers and suppliers.
Drax Group acquired Pinnacle, which has operations across British Columbia and Alberta in Canada and Alabama in the US, last year. Drax’s existing operations in the US South were known as Drax Biomass.
Drax Group has 17 pellet plants and developments in the US and Canada, which use byproducts from sustainably managed working forests, such as sawmill and forestry residues, for pellet feedstock. The pellets are used at Drax Power Station in England to generate renewable electricity for millions of UK homes and businesses or are sold to customers in Europe and Asia seeking to decarbonise their power sectors to meet their climate commitments.
Drax is also developing a pioneering negative emissions technology – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) which permanently removes millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The world’s leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC say BECCS is critical to addressing the climate emergency.
Drax’s Executive Vice President of Pellet Operations Matt White said:
“Last year’s acquisition of Pinnacle advanced Drax’s strategy to increase sustainable biomass production capacity and reduce costs, creating the world’s leading biomass generation and supply business that is well placed to play a critical role in helping countries to meet net zero.
“We have made good progress integrating Pinnacle and this rebrand will provide a firm foundation for the business to meet the expected growth in global demand for sustainable biomass and our negative emissions technology BECCS.”
Drax plans to increase its annual pellet production capacity to 8 million tonnes by 2030 from around 4 million tonnes currently and is doubling global pellet sales to 4Mt by 2030 to meet an expected increase in global demand for the low-carbon fuel.
Drax is the UK’s largest source of renewable power by output, and the UK’s largest supplier of renewable electricity to businesses. The conversion of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal was Europe’s largest decarbonisation project and reduced the company’s generation emissions by over 90% in under a decade.
- Drax’s compressed wood pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests.
- In 2020, around 43% of the material used to produce the pellets used to generate renewable power at Drax Power Station in the UK came from sawmill residues (sawdust and other byproducts).
- The rest came from low-grade forestry residuals and byproducts such as treetops, limbs and misshapen and diseased trees not suitable for other use and thinnings – small trees removed to maximise the growth of the forest.
- Drax is rebranding the pellet mills it fully owns and is working with joint-venture partners at the six pellet mills it has interests in to ensure they are also branded appropriately.
- Drax has interests in Canadian plants in Houston, Smithers, High Level and Lavington and US plants Aliceville and Demopolis in Alabama.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.
Its 3,400 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.
The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.
Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 13 operational pellet plants with nameplate capacity of c.4Mt, plus a further two plants currently commissioning and other developments/expansions which will increase this to c.5Mt once complete.
Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.
It offers a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.
To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com