In its 2013 financial report the Drax Group announced earnings ahead of expectations and an important progress in the process of coal to biomass conversion plan. Moreover, 4 million metric tons of pellets have already been contracted for 2014 and the company’s new pellet facilities in the US are ongoing according to plans.
Drax has four coal units in the UK, which are under a biomass conversion process. The first one was successfully converted back in April 2013, and now delivers 600 MW of energy. The remaining three coal units conversion is highly dependent on the UK government’s contract of proposal (CFD), the company stated.
Drax hopes that in the third quarter of 2015 the second unit will run fully on biomass and the third by the end of 2016. Also plans for the fourth unit conversion are advancing.
However, such a large-scale conversion plan needs extra-capacity. Thus, Dorothy Thompson, CEO of Drax, announced that the company seeks options to develop an additional pellet capacity up to 2 million metric tons, mainly in the US, but UK pellet facilities are also taken under consideration.