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News round-up 5/3

Drax buys pellet distributor; Backing bioeconomy at Whitehall; Economic boost from remanufacturing; Tata adviser on regulation reappointed

Drax buys pellet distributor

Drax has bought Billington Bioenergy (BBE), the UK’s second largest wood pellet distributor. The company says the move signals an intention to enter the growing biomass heat sector and complements its core business. Drax sources sustainable biomass through Drax Biomass and supplies renewable electricity to businesses through Haven Power.

Earlier this week, the energy producer released supply figures which showed that most feedstock for its North Yorkshire facility came from sawmill and forest residues, and it insisted that none of its intake originated from tree stumps or virgin timber.

Dorothy Thompson, group chief executive, said the acquisition was “an exciting opportunity to help transform the UK heat market”.

“BBE is a great business – it shares our customer service ethos and unswerving commitment to sustainability so I am delighted to be working with them.”

BBE managing director Roger Pearson added: “We have been really impressed by the Drax team, their vision and their commitment to quality, customer service and sustainability.”

Press release

Backing bioeconomy at Whitehall

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a report highlighting actions being taken across the Government to grow the bioeconomy using waste as a feedstock.

It considers the economic and environmental potential of this emerging economy and how ministers can support the sector and prevent barriers to its growth.

This includes investment to support the commercialisation and scaling up of innovative ideas, and increasing the level and accessibility of publicly available data on the UK feedstock supply chain.

Press release

Economic boost from remanufacturing

The remanufacturing industry in Scotland has the potential to grow rapidly, from its current value of £1.1bn to the Scottish economy.

The figure comes from a report published by environment secretary Richard Lochhead and commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, which examines just how valuable the remanufacturing industry is to the country.

Lochhead said: “Remanufacturing is a key area with momentum in Scotland. The figures speak for themselves, and it is clear that creating more opportunities in this area will be a huge benefit to the economy.

“By 2020 remanufacturing activity in Scotland could grow by up to £620m and bring up to 5,700 new jobs to the country, which is just fantastic for the sector,” he added.

Press release

Tata adviser on regulation reappointed

Alexander Ehmann

Alexander Ehmann, head of UK public affairs at Tata, has been reappointed to the independent Regulatory Policy Committee, which assesses the impact on business of new regulatory proposals put forward by the Government.

Ehmann was previously deputy director of policy and public affairs at the Institute of Directors and adviser at PhonePayPlus, a telecoms regulator.

Press release



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