Independent analysis by Oxford Economics has shown that renewable energy leader Drax contributed C$1.1 billion to the Canadian economy and supported 10,400 jobs in the UK last year.
The analysis measured the economic impact of the Canadian operations of Drax Group, which includes 10 plants in British Columbia and Alberta that produce sustainable biomass wood pellets used to generate renewable energy in the UK and Asia.
The renewable energy leader spent C$736 million with Canadian suppliers last year, more than half of that (58%) with companies located in British Columbia. Another 13% was spent with businesses in Alberta and 12% with businesses in Montreal.
Drax plans to increase its pellet production capacity from around 5 million tonnes currently to 8 million tonnes by the end of this decade. The company is also developing a pioneering negative emissions technology – Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) which continuously removes millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while generating renewable energy.
Sustainable biomass is at the heart of decarbonization plans around the world, with the world’s leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC considering BECCS key to tackling climate change.
Matt White, Drax Senior Vice President, said: “Not only does Drax play a vital role in keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses in the UK and Asia, we are also proud to support thousands of jobs in Canada and contributing more than $1 billion to the economy at a time when it is under severe pressure.
“Sustainable biomass is increasingly attractive to governments and industries around the world. This is because it supports energy security as it is a reliable renewable energy source and when combined with carbon capture and storage technology can permanently remove CO2 of the atmosphere, helping the world meet its climate goals.
Stephen Foreman, Associate Director of Oxford Economics, said: “Our research demonstrates the significant contribution that a large, successful UK company like Drax Group can make to the global economy.
“Drax Group’s operations in the UK, US and Canada generated £3.1 billion of GDP in 2021 and supported over 35,000 jobs in these three markets. We also see that the business generated by Drax’s power stations, pellet mills and offices is also having a positive impact on local communities in the UK, US and Canada.
The jobs supported by Drax’s operations across Canada covered a wide range of sectors, including highly skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, and transportation.