Drax contributed $1B to the Canadian economy in 2021, research shows

Independent analysis by Oxford Economics has shown that last year renewable energy leader Drax contributed CA$1.1 billion towards the Canadian economy and supported 10,400 jobs across the UK.

The analysis measured the economic impact of Drax Group’s Canadian operations, which includes 10 plants across British Columbia and Alberta which produce sustainable biomass wood pellets used to generate renewable power in the UK and Asia.

The renewable power leader spent $736 million with Canadian suppliers last year, with more than half of this total (58 percent) spent with businesses located in British Columbia. A further 13 percent was spent with businesses in Alberta and 12 percent with firms in Montreal.

Drax plans to increase its pellet production capacity from around five million tons currently to eight million tons by the end of this decade. The company is also developing a pioneering negative emissions technology – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) which permanently removes millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while at the same time generating renewable power.

Sustainable biomass is central to decarbonization plans across the globe, with the world’s leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC viewing BECCS as critical to combating climate change.

Matt White, Drax’s senior vice-president, said: “Not only is Drax playing a critical role in keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses across the UK and Asia, but we are also proud to be supporting thousands of jobs in Canada and contributing more than a billion dollars to the economy at a time when it is under severe pressure.

“Sustainable biomass is increasingly attractive to governments and industries around the world. That’s because it supports energy security as it is a reliable renewable power source and when twinned with carbon capture and storage technology, it can permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere, helping the world reach its climate targets”

Stephen Foreman, associate director at Oxford Economics, said: “Our research demonstrates the significant contribution that a large and successful British company like Drax Group can make to the global economy.

“Drax Group’s operations in the UK, US, and Canada generated £3.1 billion in GDP in 2021 and supported over 35,000 jobs across these three markets. We also find that the activity generated by Drax’s power stations, pellet plants, and corporate offices, is also having a positive impact on local communities across the UK, the US and Canada.”

Jobs supported by Drax’s activities across Canada covered a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery and transportation.

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