LONDON (Reuters) – Power firm Drax, the country’s biggest single source of CO2 emissions, announced a 67 million pound investment to cut greenhouse gases on Thursday as 2006 profit rose 144 percent on higher electricity prices and output.
The investment aims to help Drax’s coal-fired power station in northern England — western Europe’s biggest — to burn 10 percent renewable fuels by 2009.
“We expect these investments together to save over three million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, equalling the output of around 700 wind turbines,” said Chief Executive Dorothy Thompson. Drax produced 22.7 million tonnes of CO2 in 2006, up from 21 million tonnes in 2005, a figure roughly equal to the CO2 emissions from all of Ireland’s heavy industry, and about 3 percent of the country’s total emissions.
Drax, which almost went bankrupt in 2002 , today announced a 140 per cent jump in pre-tax annual profits thanks to high power prices, and said it would pay a special dividend of 32.9p a share, or £121m, to shareholders.