British power firm Drax to enter Japan in biomass sale push in Asia

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LONDON (Reuters) - British power generator Drax Group Plc said on Thursday it will expand its operations into Japan to ramp up its supply of sustainable biomass pellets in Asia.

Drax said it aims to increase its wood pellet production capacity from 5 million tonnes a year currently to 8 million tonnes a year by 2030, targeting European and Asian markets.

“Drax’s unrivalled expertise across the entire biomass value chain ... can support Japan’s climate targets, accelerating the move away from coal and enabling investment in clean energy technologies," Drax Group’s Managing Director for Asia, Yasuhisa Okamoto said.

Drax has converted some of its coal-fired power station in Yorkshire, England, to use sustainable biomass.

It is also developing technology to capture and store emissions generated from burning wood-based biomass pellets, which are categorized as a renewable fuel source, and hopes to have this up and running at a plant in Britain by 2027.

The firm aims to remove 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere each year by 2030.

Drax has 17 sustainable biomass pellet plants and developments in the United States and Canada. Its power station supplies 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity.

(Reporting by Muhammed Husain in Bengaluru and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Nina Chestney)