British energy business Drax Group contributed almost £1.7 billion towards UK GDP in 2016 and supported thousands of jobs across the country, including £577m across the North of England – Yorkshire and Humber, North West, and North East, termed as the ‘Northern Powerhouse Region’.
The findings were revealed in a new report looking at the economic impact of Drax’s UK operations, which includes Selby-based Drax Power Station. The Power Station, which employs around 900 people and has seen three of its six generating units converted in recent years to use compressed wood pellets, generated 16% of the country’s renewable electricity in 2016 – enough for four million households, the equivalent of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.
Researchers at Oxford Economics used three measures to calculate Drax’s GDP contribution: the economic activity associated with the day-to-day running of the business; the activity created by the purchase of goods and services from its suppliers; and the wages the company’s employees and suppliers’ employees spend in their local area.
In the past year, Drax Power Station’s activities have supported employment in a wide range of sectors including high-skilled manufacturing of industrial components, engineering and technical machinery, construction, IT, professional business services and transport.
Drax Power CEO, Andy Koss said: “This new report demonstrates that as well as being of major significance nationally as the country’s biggest power generator, Drax Power Station continues to play a crucial role in supporting the northern economy.
“Thanks to a sophisticated supply chain that spans both the east and west coasts of the country, Drax supported over 6,000 jobs across the North of England last year and generated more than £1/2 billion in economic activity. Drax works with hundreds of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region to ensure millions of homes across the country have the power they need each day.
“The North of England has a rich heritage in providing energy to the rest of the UK. Companies like Drax have an important role to play in delivering a low carbon economy as part of the Government’s wider industrial strategy for the country”.
Alan Waddington, Managing Director of TEi Ltd, a leading engineering company based in Wakefield, said: “Our specialist team of engineers have been working at Drax Power Station for a number of years, using their technical knowledge to support its transition to become the largest source of renewable power in the country.
“As a British business we are proud to support this nationally significant asset that generates enough clean electricity to power Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.”
Osman Ismail, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “Drax Group makes an important economic contribution to Yorkshire and the Humber, and the UK more widely. Its activities generated almost £1.7 billion in GDP last year, and sustained thousands of jobs across the nation.”