Drax axes 'new biomass' plans
London – ?Drax Group PLC has scrapped plans to build a dedicated 300MW biomass plant at its 4,000MW site in Selby, north Yorkshire - citing the lack of support for dedicated biomass power in the government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) proposals.
Back in 2008, Drax unveiled plans to develop three 300MW renewable energy plants, costing around £2 billion, in partnership with Siemens Project Ventures. Together with the renewable output from co-firing at Drax Power Station, the units - at Selby, Port of Immingham and an undecided location - were to produce around around 10% of the UK’s total electricity.
Having threatened to do so previously, Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax has now finally pulled the plug on the Selby project. She cited “disappointment” at the proposed level of support for dedicated biomass developments in the EMR consultation document on the future support levels for renewable technologies from 2013, published last October.
The support level, she said, has made the investment case for the development planned for the Drax Power Station site particularly challenging, due to its inland location with increased logistics costs.
“Given the significant financial liability that we would face were we to delay our investment decision until we have certainty over the final support level for dedicated biomass we have decided to cancel the project,” said the CEO.
(Full story in March/April edition of Process Engineering)