Drax completes £27.5m US pellet plant deal

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 26 Apr 2017

DRAX has completed the £27.5 million purchase of a US pelleting plant. 

Louisiana Pellets will provide 450,000 tonnes of biomass a year as raw material to fire the huge power station, as it continues the transition from coal to green energy.

Once shipped across the Atlantic, the pellets will be fed through four port operations in the UK, including the world’s largest reception facility for such cargo, Associated British Ports’ Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal, and new facilities at Hull.

They are then transferred to specially designed rail wagons for the journey to the power station

The transaction is described as playing an important part in Drax’s strategy to build a flexible supply chain capable of self-supplying 30 per cent of its generation requirement. 

PORT INFRASTRUCTURE: Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal, Associated British Ports' major investment on the Humber for Drax.

The site, in Urania - a town created by a forefather of forestry development Henry E Hardtner - is expected to return to service by early 2018, with further investment to be made to upgrade and optimise the facility. It will be the third operation owned by Drax in the US, with Amite, Mississippi and Morehouse, also in Louisiana, developed. Port facilities at Baton Rouge have also been enhanced.

Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax Group, said: "Louisiana Pellets marks another positive step in delivering the Drax Group strategy.

“The deal forms part of our plan to significantly increase our capability to manufacture high quality compressed wood pellets and increase self-supply to Drax Power Station.

“Upgrading half the power station to use sustainable wood pellets has resulted in Drax producing 16 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity and with the right conditions we aim to do more.”

The completion follows a court hearing to approve the result of an auction of the assets on March 30.

Hardtner is celebrated for leaving a national legacy with the management of forests on a sustained-yield basis to create a marketable timber crop in the US.

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