Energy Security and Net-Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho has approved Drax’s £2bn plans to install carbon capture and storage technology at its power plant in Selby, Yorkshire.

Published 16th January 2024

Drax secures Government planning approval for its major BECCS project

Image: Drax Group

Drax’s power station was originally completely coal-fired but, over the past ten years, the facility’s six generating units were converted to run on biomass. The final two units were converted in early 2023.

The new Government decision, taken on Tuesday (16 January), grants Drax permission to add carbon capture technology to two of the units.

Will Gardiner, chief executive at Drax Group, called the approval “another milestone”.

The business claims that its plans would enable the removal of around eight million tonnes of CO2 annually once both units are fully operational. It is touting a minimum 95% capture rate for emissions at these units and a working lifespan of at least 20 years.

Drax’s power plant is the UK’s single biggest emitter in the power generation sector. This, coupled with the relative commercial infancy of man-made carbon capture technologies, means many in the green economy are skeptical about whether Drax’s plans will deliver the promised emissions benefits.