(L - R): Graham Backhouse, commercial director at Drax with Lisa Coulson, marketing director at British Steel.
Matthew Neville

British Steel forges new “multi-billion” partnership with North Yorkshire renewable energy complex

Renewable energy company Drax has signed an agreement with British Steel to explore opportunities for its steel to be used to build the world’s largest multi-billion-pound carbon capture project at its power station in the UK.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) brings together two major British industries to support the development of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), a technology which could “create opportunities for the UK to lead the world in a technology required to address global warming”.

Through the partnership, Drax and British Steel aim to support efforts to meet the UK’s climate targets and level up the North, whilst supporting skills within the steel sector.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO said: “We are excited to be partnering with British Steel as we continue to progress our world-leading UK BECCS project.

“This country has a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the world in vital new green technologies like BECCS, which will not only support thousands of UK jobs, but could also create new export opportunities, whilst helping to tackle the climate crisis.

“We aim to invest billions of pounds, create tens of thousands of jobs and have BECCS operational in the UK by 2030, provided that the UK Government has in place policies to support the feasibility and delivery of negative emissions technologies.

Drax is ready to invest around £2bn in its plans to build BECCS in the UK. Work could get underway as soon as 2024, with the energy company planning to source up to 80 per cent of the materials and services it needs for the project from British businesses.

Around 13,000 tonnes of steel will be required for the major infrastructure project, including beams produced at British Steel’s Scunthorpe and Teesside steel works.

Allan Bell, British Steel’s chief commercial and procurement officer, added: “We are proud to be working with Drax to explore the opportunities this major infrastructure project creates both in terms of the use of our steel products but also in developing skills in the steel supply chain required to support the development of CCUS expertise within the UK.”

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