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Drax may ditch UK gas-fired power station in environmental effort

The project has been criticised by environmental groups after the government approved it in 2019

Drax Group - Drax to ditch UK gas-fired power station in environmental effort

Drax PLC (LON:DRX) is expected to ditch plans to build what would be Europe’s biggest gas-fired power station, according to reports.

It is a “legacy” project that would see the conversion of two coal-fired units into gas generators at its plant in North Yorkshire.

READ: Drax ties up Canadian biomass purchase to turn it carbon zero by 2030

Another four units have been turned into biomass wood pellets burners, which should be more environmentally friendly.

According to pressure group ClientEarth, the 3.6-gigawatt project could create 400% more greenhouse gas emissions than if it were not built.

Its approval took total planned gas capacity to 18GW, three times the Government’s estimates of what was needed in terms of gas generation to supply the country.

The environmental group took the UK Government to court over the decision to approve the plant in November 2019 but lost the challenge last month.

Nonetheless, Drax may scrap conversion as it focuses on more sustainable projects, so the coal units will be used for other scopes. 

A potential update is expected when the company announces its final results on February 25.

“We have not announced what we are going to do, but there will be more clarity in February [when our results are published],” chief executive Will Gardiner told the Evening Standard.

Shares rose 1% to 391.2p on Wednesday morning.

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