Another big step in Drax’s biomass conversion

On 6 June Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, UK, took its fourth coal-fired power generating unit offline as it prepares to convert it to running on sustainable biomass.

Drax has already converted half its power station and ‘associated supply chain infrastructure’ to use sustainable biomass instead of coal. Having already invested £700 million into the project, the company claims to be transforming it into Europe’s largest decarbonisation project.

Conversion of the fourth unit is expected to be completed over the summer. According to Drax, the cost of the conversion is significantly below the level of previous conversions, at around £30 million. The company’s engineers will upgrade the unit by reusing redundant infrastructure left over from when the company was first co-firing biomass with coal around eight years ago.

“Switching the fourth unit from coal to biomass is another milestone in the transformation of the power station,” said Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO.

“It will extend the life of the plant, protecting jobs both here at Drax and in the supply chain, whilst delivering cleaner, reliable power for millions of homes and businesses.”

According to a company statement, a trial last year confirmed that by modifying the old co-firing delivery system, compressed wood pellets can be delivered in the quantities required to convert the fourth generating unit.

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