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In April 2013, Drax completed the conversion of the first of three coal boilers to fire exclusively on biomass. On Dec. 9, former U.K. energy secretary Edward Davey visited the Drax Power Station to celebrate Drax becoming one of Europe’s biggest renewable electricity generators. 

Drax Power Station consists of six 660 MW power units, giving a total capacity of just under 4,000 MW, making it the largest power station in the U.K.


In an effort to reduce its environmental impact, Drax began burning biomass in 2003, evolving to co-firing coal and biomass in all six power units. In July 2012, the company confirmed its plans to transform itself into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator by converting three of its six generating units to run exclusively on sustainable biomass. The first converted unit began operating in April 2013.


The U.K. government has decided to bring in strict biomass sustainability controls that go beyond what is recommended or required in the European Union or internationally. Drax supports the government’s decision. 

Drawing on its 10 years of biomass experience, 40 years operating the U.K.’s largest power plant, and the experience in executing its turbine upgrade, Drax appears to have completed conversion of its first boiler flawlessly.


The incredible size of this $1.2-billion project has to be seen to be truly comprehended. The Drax Power Station is the size of a small city. Drax Power Station is the world’s largest biomass generating plant, reducing emissions by more than 80 per cent relative to coal.

Read the full conversion story.

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Power Generation

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Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.

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Industry News

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  • Drax, GB Railfrieght, extend contract to transport biomass

    GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Drax have agreed to extend their contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass from UK ports to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire until 2025. Teams at GBRf have worked closely with Drax for the past[…]

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  • Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3

    Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3 [Editor’s note: this article is the third in a series of four. Part 4 online next week.] In early 2020, CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada, carried out interviews with nine pioneering rural and remote communities that have installed bioenergy[…]

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The Pellet Advantage

Efficient and Plentiful Production

Wood Pellet Association of Canada members are world leaders in the design and operation of modern pellet plants.

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Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Wood pellets are a safe, reliable modern fuel. But they are still a fuel, requiring care in producing, shipping and storing.

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Renewable and sustainable? Energy really can grow on trees.

There is no single energy source capable of solving our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead we need to look to a mix of new fuels, including wood pellets.

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