Drax opens US$100M, 360,000 tonnes/year wood pellet plant in Demopolis, Alabama, which will be fueled by sawmill residues; UK utility now operates seven pellet plants in US South that use regionally sourced wood biomass as feedstock

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LONDON , April 19, 2022 (press release) –

Drax Group, the world’s leading producer and user of sustainable biomass has opened a new pellet plant at Demopolis in Alabama, bringing new jobs and economic opportunities to the town.

 

  • Drax’s investment of over $100 million in the new Demopolis pellet plant brings new jobs and economic opportunities to Alabama with 350 people employed during construction and 60 new direct jobs.
  • The plant will produce 360,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets a year from sawmill residues such as sawdust, chips and shavings.
  • Drax is donating $10,000 to Demopolis City Schools Foundation as it continues to support the communities where it operates.

Drax Group, the world’s leading producer and user of sustainable biomass has opened a new pellet plant at Demopolis in Alabama, bringing new jobs and economic opportunities to the town.

At full capacity the plant at Demopolis, which is Drax’s second production facility in Alabama, will produce 360,000 metric tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets a year.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said:
“Drax’s wood pellet plant that’s being commissioned in Demopolis represents a major investment that will drive long-term economic growth and spark significant job creation in Marengo County. The opening of this facility is an exciting development for this rural region, and I look forward to seeing Drax develop new growth plans in Sweet Home Alabama.”

Will Gardiner (Drax CEO), Mayor Woody Collins, Ashley Coplin (Executive Director of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation) and Matt White (Drax Executive Vice President, Pellet Operations) at the official opening of the Demopolis pellet plant [April 5, 2022].

Drax’s pellet plants help support employment and opportunities across the wider forestry and lumber sectors in Alabama with around 350 people employed during construction of the new plant, and 120 people employed directly by the renewable energy company at its two pellet plants in Demopolis in Marengo County and Aliceville, in Pickens County.

Sawmill residues used to manufacture sustainable biomass wood pellets at LaSalle BioEnergy in Louisiana.

Sawmill residues used to manufacture sustainable biomass wood pellets.

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said:


Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner [click to view/download]

“By developing these pellet plants Drax has created 120 jobs in Alabama, whilst supporting many more throughout our supply chains in the state.“I believe it’s important to support the communities where we operate and so as well as opening the Demopolis pellet mill, I’m also very pleased to announce the donation of $10,000 to the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, which will help ensure all children have access to an excellent education. I look forward to Drax continuing to work with the local community.”

Including Demopolis, Drax’s operates seven pellet plants in the US south, which use biomass sourced from the region’s sustainably managed working forests.

The Demopolis and Aliceville pellet plants support Drax’s plans to increase pellet production to meet growing demand in Europe and Asia for reliable, renewable electricity, which helps displace coal from energy systems, reducing emissions in line with global climate targets.

Drax also has ambitious plans to develop bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This vital negative emissions technology permanently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whilst also generating renewable power – no other technology can do both.

 

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