Drax, has revealed that converting into Europe’s biggest biomass plant will cost as much as £700million.
Last week’s Governmwent decision to subsidise large-scale green power generation has given the company the confidence to convert three of the plant’s six furnaces into wood chip-powered boilers with a view to converting the remaining boilers at a later date.
The conversion work will take five years to complete and by then the company will have organised a huge worldwide supply chain designed to feed nearly eight million tons of biomass into the plant.
converting to biomass plant: It will take five years and cost around £700 million.
The biomass material will replace five million tons of coal a year and will turn Europe’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide from non-renewable sources into one of the country’s cleanest power stations.
But before Drax can be turned into a green plant, the company will have to spend £320million converting three furnaces.
It will also have to pay up to £200million on meeting emissions rules, a further £100million on establishing a biomass supply chain and £80million on other work. It hopes to completed on-site investment by June 2014.
The vast majority of the biomass will come from North America, but there will also be locally sourced supplies of willow and elephant grass to power the furnaces.
Drax, which was originally built, operated and owned by the Central Electricity Generating Board, is confident, after experimenting with running one of its furnaces on biomass for months, that it has the technical skill to convert half the plant over the next five years and also believes that there will be no problems finding the supplies to feed the biomass hungry furnaces.
Drax released very encouraging half yearly results on Tuesday, when P eter Emery, the company’s production director, said that the company could essentially have moved away from using coal by 2020.
“The Government is maintaining its policy to move to sustainable energy production and I think by the end of this decade our co units will not be running very much at all. I think there will probably also be increased employment at Drax, though as yet we haven’t put a figure on
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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