Drax hosts delegation of Japanese industry and embassy officials
The group included the British Embassy in Tokyo’s Counsellor on Energy and Infrastructure, as well as a delegation of Japanese supply chain partners, customers and industry representatives.
The group met with Vaughan Bassett, senior vice president of biomass sales and logistics at Drax, to learn more about Drax's operations and conversion to sustainable biomass – a move that transformed the business into Europe’s largest single-site decarbonisation project.
They were also interested in Drax’s activity in bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) – including plans for BECCS at Drax to permanently remove eight million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030, whilst supporting the creation of a new global industry in the UK, which the company said would deliver tens of thousands of jobs in a new green economy.
The delegation included officials from the British Embassy in Tokyo, the UK Department for Business and Trade, NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers – a dry bulk carrier and current charter vessel supplier to Drax, Sumitomo Corporation - a major Japanese trading company and current customer of Drax, and a major Japanese utility currently using biomass.
Bassett said, “We were thrilled to welcome today’s delegation from Japan so they could see the benefits of sustainable biomass first hand.
“At Drax Power Station, we have reduced our fossil fuel emissions by around 99% in the last decade as a result of our conversion from coal to sustainably sourced biomass and have plans to become carbon negative with BECCS. We believe BECCS has a vital role to play in future on the journey to Net Zero, and we hope the group will take away the learnings and confidence to aid in their expansion of sustainable biomass and BECCS in Japan.”
Over the last decade, Japan has made substantial progress in developing an efficient, resilient, and sustainable energy system, however it is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, said Drax.
To achieve its aim of carbon-neutrality by 2050 the country will need to accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies, address regulatory and institutional barriers and further enhance competition in its energy markets, it added.
Umair Choudhry, Energy and Infrastructure Counsellor for the British Embassy in Tokyo said: “It was inspiring to visit Drax Power Station and have the opportunity to take in the scale and ambition of the operation.”
Drax said it is committed to its growth in Japan and Asia with an ambitious target of doubling the sale of sustainably sourced biomass in Japan, supporting decarbonisation and providing a safe, stable renewable energy option.