More than 10 million tons of sustainable biomass has been processed through the Port of Greater Baton Rouge by Drax, marking the biomass company's 200th shipment of the renewable energy fuel.
Drax, described as the world's leading producer and user of sustainable biomass with mills in LaSalle and Morehouse parishes and a third mill in Mississippi, loaded its 200th shipment this month.
“Reaching a milestone like this highlights the tremendous work of the thousands of people
employed throughout our global biomass supply chain, including our shipping partners,” said
Matt White, executive vice president of North America Operations for Drax. “Drax is
committed to ensuring our sustainable biomass continues to deliver positive outcomes for
the climate, our environment, and the communities where we work.”
The 200th shipment was loaded on the MV Belguardian, a bulk carrier vessel that will travel across the Atlantic Ocean and arrive at Associated British Ports' Humber International Terminal is about 17 to 21 days.
According to a press release, Drax has converted four of its power station's six generating units from coal to renewable biomass over the past decade. That transformed the company that supplies 12 percent of the United Kingdom's renewable electricity into the country's largest renewable power generator and biggest decarbonization project in Europe.
“We are excited and proud to be a part of Drax´s journey towards becoming carbon negative,” said Michael Paulsen, Head of US Gulf/Caribbean for Ultrabulk. “Ultrabulk is alsofirmly committed to the transition towards zero emissions in the shipping industry, which is a significant part of our own decarbonization strategy.”
Sustainable biomass is now a key industry in the southeast United States, according to a recent independent analysis by Chmura, positively affecting the economies of rural communities.
"The cumulative economic impact of Drax’s operations from 2023 to 2030 is estimated to be
$8.3 billion in total spending and $3.4 billion in GDP across Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi
and Alabama," according to the release. "Sustainable biomass uses harvest residuals and low-grade wood, such as tops and branches, low-quality trees or parts that are diseased or misshapen. The market for low-grade wood helps improve the health and productivity of forests while providing rural counties with a new income stream."