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Drax’s Baton Rouge port facility opens for business

Drax's biomass pellet storage, handling and loading facilities at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge are now complete and receiving pellets daily.

The first biomass pellets to pass through the facility have now been loaded onto the MV TBC Princess. This first vessel, which arrived on 19 April, forms part of the commissioning process, enabling Drax to test its ship loading equipment.

Drax Biomass built the port facilities to handle pellets from Drax's two pellet mills located in Gloster, Mississippi and Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, as well as pellets from other suppliers. Overall the company has invested $350 million (€235 million) in its facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi.

'This complex project was delivered on time and to budget and forms a vital part of Drax's ambitious plan to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 12 million tonnes per year. The investment we have made in Louisiana and Mississippi [...] supports sustainable forest management and promotes the vitality and continued growth of our forests,' says Drax Biomass CEO Peter Madden.

The annual capacity of the facilities at Baton Rouge is around 3 million tonnes. The first vessel to use the Drax port facilities will be a 'handy size' and will be able to hold approximately 25,000 tonnes. Ultimately, this vessel will be followed by increasing sized vessels from Supra to the largest vessel the port has been designed to load; a Panamax. The first truck unloaded at the port facilities on 1 September 2014.