Drax Pulls Plug on Controversial Facility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2015

Drax Cancels White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Facility Plans

Plan Would Have Been a Boondoggle For Taxpayers and a Disaster for Forests and Climate

Asheville, NCThis morning, Drax (LSE: DRX), one of the largest utilities in the UK, announced that it was pulling out of a plan to build a new coal burning power plant that would co-fire wood pellets and utilize untested Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. The conservation community welcomed the news that they hoped would mean the end of the controversial White Rose Project.

“Today’s announcement from Drax is a win for our forests, communities, and the climate,” said Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance. “This not only keeps millions of tons of dirty coal in the ground, it also keeps millions of life saving trees from being clearcut and burned. This is another important signifier that burning forests for electricity is the wrong direction.”

The White Rose Project would have been the first new coal burning power plant built in Europe since 1972 and the first CCS facility in Europe. It was extremely unpopular with British citizens and the new Conservative government. In June, over 110,000 signatures were delivered to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) asking them not subsidize the project. The Care2 petition was coordinated by BiofuelWatch with the support of the London Mining Project, Coal Action Network, and Dogwood Alliance.

The new Conservative majority in the UK, led by David Cameron have not been publicly supportive of biomass and cancelled a climate change tax exemption that Drax was the beneficiary of. Though the previous administration was poised to invest over $1.3B in the facility, without those subsidies and government backing, this investment was a loser for Drax

This announcement will have ripples in the Southern US, where there are over 20 proposed new wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the region. Without a heavily subsidized biomass industry in Europe there will be no strong market for US produced wood pellets.

“Communities considering investment and tax subsidies for wood pellet facilities should take note of today’s announcement,” continued Macon. “The future is in true renewables like wind and solar rather than in the boom-bust nature of this industry which leave them high and dry with destroyed forests, no jobs, and a lower quality of life.”

Dogwood Alliance’s Our Forests Aren’t Fuel campaign will continue to push the UK and EU to end subsidies to the biomass industry in order to help protect the forests and communities of the Southern US.  

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About Dogwood Alliance

Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits.  Dogwood Alliance has revolutionized the environmental practices of some of the world’s largest corporations.  For more information on the organization please visit www.dogwoodalliance.org or follow on Twitter @DogwoodAlliance.


Scot Quaranda, 828.242.3596, [email protected]

Drax the Destroyer
Drax the Destroyer

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