Drax shares boosted by biomass news

Drax Group

Last Updated at 20 Oct 2014, 04:32 ET *Chart shows local time Drax Group intraday chart
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Shares in power firm Drax have risen after the company said it had made rapid progress in its plans to switch to using biomass fuel.

The shares rose more than 6% despite the news that pre-tax profits had dropped to £190m last year from £338m the year before.

The coal-fired Drax station in North Yorkshire is one of Europe's largest.

It said the first unit would be converted from coal to biomass in April, with another to follow in 2014.

It eventually plans to convert three of its six generating units to biomass, which it says will halve its carbon footprint within five years.

Burning biomass fuel sources such as wood, sunflower husks or animal faeces is part of the government's plans to get 15% of the UK's energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The government announced the levels of subsidies it was prepared to offer to biomass users in July 2013.

"After 10 years developing significant knowledge and experience in all aspects of using sustainable biomass in place of coal at our power station, we now have the mandate, means and expertise to transform the business into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator," said Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson.

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