Drax helps deliver 3,600 jobs and £419m into the region's economy
NORTHERN POWERHOUSE: Drax, and chief executive Andy Koss.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 25 Oct 2017
REGIONAL energy company Drax contributed almost £1.7bn to the national economy last year, according to a new report.
Located on the region's doorstep, between Goole and Selby, it brings much of its power station feedstock of biomass and coal in through the Humber, using the world's largest facility of its kind in Immingham, as well as smaller scale facilities in Hull.
The new findings reveal it has contributed more than £419m to the Yorkshire and Humber economy, supporting more than 3,600 jobs in the region.
They were revealed in a new study by Oxford University researchers, looking into economic impact of the firm, which employs 900 people on site.
The energy company is using the £150m biomass handling facilities on the Humber as part of the ambitious programme to make the power station predominantly biomass-driven in the next few years, as coal - until recently the lifeblood of the plant - is phased out.
Drax Power chief executive officer Andy Koss said: “This report demonstrates that, as well as playing a vital role as the country’s biggest power generator, Drax Power Station continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Yorkshire economy.
“Thanks to a sophisticated supply chain that spans both the east and west coasts of the country, Drax supported more than 6,000 jobs across the North of England last year and generated more than £500m in economic activity.
“Drax works with hundreds of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region to ensure millions of homes across the country have the power they need each day. The North of England has a rich heritage in providing energy to the rest of the UK.
“Companies such as Drax have an important role to play in delivering a low-carbon economy as part of the Government’s wider industrial strategy for the country.”
Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.
In the past year, Drax Power Station’s activities have supported employment in a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, construction, IT, professional business services and transport.
Amjad Bashir, Yorkshire and Humber MEP and Conservative spokesman on small business in the European Parliament, said: “It is not just the people working directly at Drax Power Station we should think of, but the thousands of others who supply goods, materials and services, often working in smaller enterprises.
“We are talking about people in highly skilled engineering and technical jobs, in construction, in professional services and IT and even the local shops that serve the workforce.
“The report shows how Drax generates power for the nation while energising our regional economy.”
Drax has recently announced how it is also looking at gas generation and large-scale batttery storage for electricity.
Osman Ismail, senior economist at Oxford Economics, said: “Drax Group makes an important economic contribution to Yorkshire and the Humber, and the UK more widely. Its activities generated almost £1.7bn in GDP last year, and sustained thousands of jobs across the nation.”