News & Media
22nd August 2023
Port of Tyne and Drax: Fuelling UK's Renewable Energy Growth Through Sustainable Partnership
Port of Tyne is solidifying its position in the UK's dynamic renewable energy landscape through an exciting partnership with Drax, a powerhouse in the realm of renewable power generation. Drax, recognized as the UK's leading renewable power generator by output, has entered into a fresh contract with the Port of Tyne. This strategic collaboration aims to ensure an uninterrupted supply of sustainably sourced biomass pellets to Drax Power Station, situated in Selby, North Yorkshire.
This newly inked four-year agreement not only cements the continuation of importing sustainably sourced biomass but also envisions the transportation of up to one million tonnes annually. Building upon a partnership that dates back to 2009, the Port of Tyne is poised to leverage its logistical expertise to support Drax in realizing its renewable energy ambitions.
As a critical element of this partnership, biomass pellets will be efficiently transported from the Port of Tyne to the Drax Power Station in Selby, Yorkshire, utilizing a meticulously planned rail network. In line with this, the contract encompasses a substantial £1.5 million investment for the enhancement of site facilities and rail infrastructure. This strategic upgrade is anticipated to pave the way for a more streamlined and effective distribution operation.
In a significant stride towards reinforcing its national role within the renewable energy sector, the Port of Tyne is set to supply a noteworthy 20% of the raw materials required to support the UK's escalating demand for renewable electricity. This material will be harnessed to generate reliable renewable electricity, powering approximately 800 UK homes for an entire year through each 25-wagon train.
Drax has undergone a monumental transformation, transitioning its North Yorkshire power station from coal usage to sustainably sourced biomass, effectively reducing its generation scope 1 and 2 emissions by an impressive 99%. This shift has led to Drax generating an impressive 9% of the UK's total renewable power, primarily through biomass generation at the Drax Power Station.
The collaboration between Drax and the Port of Tyne extends beyond just a business partnership. Drax is a pivotal participant in the Port of Tyne's 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub, contributing to the synergy of knowledge and expertise that drives innovation in the maritime sector. Additionally, this partnership sustains around 17,800 jobs across the UK through direct employment and operational support.
Matt Beeton, the CEO of the Port of Tyne, expressed his anticipation for the exciting developments on the horizon: "This new contract will see bigger ships, more trains, and improved infrastructure as the Port of Tyne continues to grow its role in the UK renewable energy market. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Drax this year through our ISO 44001 and Customer First programs."
Mark Gibbens, Head of Logistics at Drax Power Limited, underscored the importance of this partnership: "We welcome this new contract with Port of Tyne, a long-time partner of Drax. Our work with Port of Tyne is an important part of our robust global supply chain, which supports the delivery of dispatchable, renewable power to millions of homes and businesses across the UK."
Tracey Younger, Customer Business Director at Port of Tyne, echoed the sentiment: "This new agreement will allow us to continue to improve our customer relationship through the better use of enhanced facilities. This is great news for the port and Drax alike."
As the Port of Tyne deepens its commitment to fostering sustainability and renewable energy solutions, this collaboration with Drax stands as a testament to their shared vision for a greener future. With enhanced facilities, efficient distribution channels, and a united commitment to innovation, the Ports of Tyne and Drax are poised to drive positive change in the UK's renewable energy landscape.