April 9, 2018 / 7:32 PM / 2 years ago

Britain's Drax could close coal plants ahead of 2025 deadline

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - British power generator Drax could end production at its coal plants ahead of a government imposed deadline of 2025, the company’s CEO said on Monday.

* “We’re exploring options for repowering our remaining coal units to use sustainable biomass and gas which we believe could help us to become coal free even earlier than the 2025 deadline,” Drax CEO Will Gardiner said in a statement.

* The statement came as the company signed up to the international Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched last year by Britain and Canada to urge companies and nations to phase out coal use for power generation.

* Britain in 2015 announced it would end “unabated” coal-fired power generation - plants without technology to capture and store carbon emissions - by 2025 as a part of efforts to meet climate targets.

* Drax has converted three of its six power plant units in Yorkshire in the north of England to burn wood pellets, and plans to convert a fourth unit to biomass later this year.

* Drax said it could replace the remaining two units with gas plants and up to 200 megawatts of battery storage.

* Since Britain introduced a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in 2013, coal power generation in the country has plummeted.

* The country last year saw its first day of coal-free power generation since the industrial revolution in the 19th century. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Mark Potter)

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