Thursday, August 6, 2020

Partnership to Carry Rail Freight Extended for Another Five Years

Power Station Relies on Delivery of Biomass - Come What May
Shipping News Feature

UK – In the decade since GB Railfreight (GBRf) and the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire started working together the technology has shifted from the original wagons, coal carriers converted with lids to haul the biomass, to new purpose-built trucks to carry the pellet fuel.

Some of those older wagons remain in use today as the pair agree to extend their contract for another lustrum with GBRf transporting the supplies until at least 2025. Drax supplies 11% of the UK’s renewable electricity and using sustainable biomass instead of coal there has reduced emissions by more than 80% and helped the UK power system decarbonise faster than any other country in Europe. Mike Maudsley, UK Portfolio Generation Director at Drax said:

“GBRf’s rail deliveries are a critical part of our global supply chain for sustainable biomass that supports thousands of jobs and has delivered economic growth across the north of England, while supplying renewable electricity to millions of homes and businesses. We’re very pleased to extend our existing contract with GBRf for another five years and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with the team.”

With the ultimate target of negative emissions, under the terms of the contract GBRf will run all of Drax’s tonnage from the Ports of Tyne and Liverpool to the power station site. In the past year, the longstanding relationship between Drax and GBRf has helped overcome challenges such as the local floods in February to the Drax branch line and then the Covid-19 crisis, ensuring continuous flows of biomass that helped keep the power station running and the lights on in Britain. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, commented:

“I am delighted to be continuing GB Railfreight’s ongoing partnership with Drax. We will continue to deliver vital supplies of sustainable biomass for a further five years, ensuring power is generated in a clean and sustainable way as well as reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.

“The announcement also comes at a time of great economic uncertainty for our country. We at GBRf remain committed to getting the UK economy back on track and having worked with Drax over the last few months during testing times I know we will continue to work closely in the months and years to come as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.”