Drax H1 earnings soar to £453m but BECCS paused

Drax CEO Will Gardiner

North Yorkshire power generator Drax Group has reported that its adjusted EBITDA (excluding electricity generator lLevy) rose 101% to £453 million in the six months ended June 30, 2023.

Drax said its UK investment in Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) has been paused, subject to further clarity from the UK government on support for BECCS at Drax Power Station.

On dividends, Drax said: “We expect to propose a dividend for the 2023 financial year of £90 million, a 7% increase on 2022, consistent with our policy to pay a dividend which is sustainable and expected to grow.

“As has been our practice since we implemented the policy in 2017, 40% of the expected full year dividend will be paid for the first six months of 2023, £36 million or 9.2 pence per share.”

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said: “In the first half of 2023, we delivered a strong system support and generation performance, providing dispatchable, renewable power for millions of UK homes and businesses. Drax Power Station remained the UK’s single largest provider of renewable energy by output during the period.

“We continue to focus on our role as the UK’s leading generator of flexible renewable power and our ambition to be a world leader in carbon removals.

“To that end, in the US, we have made good progress screening options for BECCS projects which can deliver long-term, large-scale carbon removal and attractive opportunities for growth.

“We are excited about the opportunity for BECCS in the UK and are in formal discussions with the UK Government to facilitate the transition to BECCS at Drax Power Station by 2030.

“Our plans could create thousands of new jobs in the Humber region, help the UK meet its carbon removals targets and support long-term energy security.”