Drax sets up Japan office to support region’s renewable energy transition

North Yorkshire-headquartered energy company, Drax Group, is expanding its operations into Japan as part of its ambitions to increase sustainable biomass sales to support energy security and decarbonisation in Asia.

To celebrate the launch of Drax Asia and the opening of a new Drax office in Japan, more than 160 guests including government officials, major trading houses, energy businesses and shipping companies, attended a reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Tokyo.

British Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom, said: “The global issues facing us today highlight the importance of clean and secure energy supply chains. We are happy to support Drax in their expansion into Japan.”

Drax Group, a major producer and user of sustainable biomass, aims to increase its wood pellet production capacity to eight million tonnes a year by 2030 from five million tonnes a year currently, supporting global efforts to displace fossil fuels and decarbonise energy systems.

The company which is pioneering bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), an essential carbon removals technology which provides renewable energy while also permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, has had a busy week for the business having also announced it would partner with Japanese shipping company MOL Drybulk to slash emissions and fuel costs associated with shipping biomass by deploying wind power technology on vessels, and submitted plans to build the world’s biggest carbon capture facility.

Drax Group’s managing director for Asia, Yasuhisa Okamoto, who is based in Tokyo and will oversee the company’s ambitious plans for growth in Japan and the region, said: “Drax’s unrivalled expertise across the entire biomass value chain – from sustainable fibre sourcing, pellet manufacturing, supply chain management, biomass power generation and BECCS – can support Japan’s climate targets, accelerating the move away from coal and enabling investment in clean energy technologies.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Japanese companies, supporting them as they decarbonise their businesses, using sustainable biomass.”

Drax’s conversion of its Selby power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal is Europe’s largest decarbonisation project, reducing fossil fuel emissions from Drax’s power generation by over 95% since 2012.

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