The UK government has given the green light to Drax Power Station's Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) project in Yorkshire, a key component in the facility's ambition to become carbon negative by 2030. Once infamous as Western Europe's most polluting power plant, Drax is now set to make a meaningful contribution to the UK's Net Zero by 2050 goal. The BECCS project will involve the installation of post-combustion capture technology to trap CO2 emissions from two biomass units.
The CO2 will be transported by pipeline and then stored offshore as part of the Northern Endurance Partnership CCS project. Drax's strategic move aligns with the broader initiative to capture emissions from various industrial sectors, including petrochemicals, refining, power generation and manufacturing.
Drax Power Station, responsible for four per cent of the country's power and nine per cent of renewable electricity, aims to remove around 8 million tonnes of CO2 annually once both BECCS units are operational. The approval marks a significant milestone in Drax's pursuit of large-scale carbon dioxide removals and reinforces its role in ensuring UK energy security.
The project is not only environmentally impactful but economically promising. Drax Group is planning on investing billions in the BECCS project. The venture is expected to create 10,000 jobs during construction and safeguard 7,000 direct and supply chain roles. Drax emphasises its commitment to sourcing 80% of materials and services for the project from businesses in the UK.
The approval underscores the growing significance of carbon capture and storage in the UK's energy transition. Drax Group's CEO, Will Gardiner, welcomed the decision, highlighting the project's role in delivering secure renewable power and substantial CO2 removals. As the UK moves toward a sustainable future, projects such as Drax's BECCS play a pivotal role in achieving both environmental and economic goals.