Louisiana governor visits Drax Power station

By Drax Group | November 08, 2021

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards visited Drax Power Station – the U.K.’s largest renewable power generator – ahead of attending the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow to see how Drax is leading the way in reducing emissions from the U.K. energy system.

The state of Louisiana is central to Drax’s global operations, with its sustainable wood pellet production industry helping keep the lights on for millions of U.K. homes and businesses. Drax is the largest agricultural importer by value from the U.S. to the U.K., and a critical international trade partner.

Drax’s operations in Louisiana and Mississippi indirectly supports more than 1,200 jobs, alongside 300 direct jobs across the two states in our three pellet mills and at the port of Greater Baton Rouge – generating over $45 million dollars a year in additional household income.

Louisiana is home to the headquarters of Drax Biomass in Monroe, with the company’s LaSalle and Morehouse pellet plants based in the state as well. Drax also operates an export facility in the Port of Baton Rouge to ship sustainable biomass to the U.K. and to its customers around the world. These facilities directly employ more than 200 people.

During his tour of the power station, Gov. Edwards learned more about Drax’s plans to deploy ground-breaking bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Following the visit, Gov.Edwards and a delegation from Drax are attending the critical COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Jason Shipstone, Drax chief innovation officer, said, “We were very happy to welcome Governor Edwards to Drax so he could see for himself how sustainable biomass from Louisiana is helping keep the lights on for millions of U.K. homes and businesses. 

“Our exciting plans to use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) mean Louisiana could play an even greater role in addressing the climate crisis, as we aim to develop the world’s biggest negative emissions power station, permanently removing eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year by 2030.”

BECCS is a critical negative emissions technology which permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and will be needed globally in order to address the climate crisis. It could also create exciting export opportunities and kickstart a whole new sector of the economy, creating thousands of green jobs.

Gov. Edwards said, “I am impressed with the scale and technology of this world-class power generation facility. Moving to net zero will require investments that replace coal fired plants and Drax can achieve this with negative emissions of CO2. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Drax in Louisiana in the future.” 

Drax is working with Bechtel to explore the potential to develop new-build BECCS projects overseas, including in the USA.