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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 15:49 GMT
100m bid to cut plant emissions
Drax power station
About 600 people are employed at the plant
The owner of the UK's biggest coal-fired power station has unveiled plans for a 100m project aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

Drax will revamp turbines at its plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, in a bid to improve efficiency by 5%.

In August protesters tried to shut down the plant, claiming it was the "largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the UK".

Drax said the turbine changes would be the equivalent of taking 275,000 cars off the road.

The work is expected to take place over five years between 2008 and 2011, and the firm said it was in the final stage of negotiation with a preferred supplier.

Increased efficiency

It is thought the turbines will save 500,000 tonnes of coal each year because it will be able to burn supplies more efficiently.

Chief executive Dorothy Thompson said: "The decision to go ahead with the turbine reblading project demonstrates our commitment to invest in the future of the business and, importantly, to tackling climate change."

Drax, which produces 7% of England's electricity needs, was responsible for 21m tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2005. The company said the turbine changes would cut that figure by 1m tonnes a year.

Drax also said it expected its annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be between 578m and 585m, compared to 239m last year.

About 600 people are employed at the plant, which was first opened in 1974.

In November the Environment Agency said an 18-month trial of a controversial fuel at Drax had had no adverse impact on local health.

The plant burned a mixture of coal and up to 15% petroleum coke (petcoke), an oil-based fuel which is a by-product of the petroleum industry.

Drax said it would now apply to burn the fuel in all their six boiler units.

New fuel 'has no health impact'
25 Nov 06 |  North Yorkshire
Drax profits soar as prices jump
12 Sep 06 |  Business
Police defend Drax station action
31 Aug 06 |  North Yorkshire
Power station begins fuel trial
26 Jun 05 |  North Yorkshire

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