Drax expands its operations into Asia to support region’s renewable energy transition

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Renewable energy company Drax Group is expanding its operations into Japan as part of its ambitions to increase sustainable biomass sales to support energy security and decarbonisation in Asia.

To celebrate the launch of Drax Asia and the opening of a new Drax office in Japan, more than 160 guests including government officials, major trading houses, energy businesses and shipping companies, attended a reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Tokyo.

At the reception, British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom said:

“The global issues facing us today highlight the importance of clean and secure energy supply chains. We are happy to support Drax in their expansion into Japan.”

biomass 17july22 2 minBritish Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom at the reception to launch Drax Asia 

Drax Group, the world’s leading producer and user of sustainable biomass, aims to increase its wood pellet production capacity to 8 million tonnes a year by 2030 from 5 million tonnes a year currently, supporting global efforts to displace fossil fuels and decarbonise energy systems.

As a supplier of sustainable biomass pellets to customers in Asia and Europe, and with more than a decade of experience in converting the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station to use sustainable biomass, Drax is uniquely placed to support Japan as it further decarbonises its economy and energy system.

The British-headquartered company is also pioneering bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), an essential carbon removals technology which provides renewable energy while also permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

biomass 17july22 3Drax Group Managing Director for Asia, Yasuhisa OkamotoDrax Group’s Managing Director for Asia, Yasuhisa Okamoto, who is based in Tokyo and will oversee the company’s ambitious plans for growth in Japan and the region said:

“Drax’s unrivalled expertise across the entire biomass value chain – from sustainable fibre sourcing, pellet manufacturing, supply chain management, biomass power generation and BECCS – can support Japan’s climate targets, accelerating the move away from coal and enabling investment in clean energy technologies.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Japanese companies, supporting them as they decarbonise their businesses, using sustainable biomass.”

Drax’s conversion of its UK power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal is Europe’s largest decarbonisation project, reducing fossil fuel emissions from Drax’s power generation by over 95% since 2012.

The day after the reception in Tokyo, a team of Drax executives visited a standalone biomass power plant that Drax supplies with biomass.

biomass 17july22 4 minDrax executives, British Ambassador and embassy official at the launch of Drax Asia. (Top L-R: Paul Sheffield – Drax Chief Commercial Officer, Ross McKenzie – Drax Director of International Affairs, Joseph Sheldon – Senior Trade Advisor British Embassy, Yasuhisa Okamoto – Drax Managing Director Asia. Bottom L-R: British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom, Clare Harbord – Drax Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Esa Heiskanen – Drax EVP Capital Projects.) 

Source: Drax