Drax Completes Acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., the Canada-based international supplier of sustainable bioenergy pellets, and British energy company Drax Group plc have announced that Drax’s acquisition of Pinnacle (first announced on February 8, 2021) has completed.

The acquisition received overwhelming support from both sets of shareholders with 95.97% of Pinnacle’s and 99.99% of Drax’s shareholders voting in favour. It makes Drax the world’s leading sustainable bioenergy generation and supply business. Drax operates the world’s largest sustainable power station fuelled by bioenergy in the UK, while Pinnacle is a major producer and supplier of good quality compressed wood pellets.

Pinnacle will operate as a subsidiary of Drax and remain headquartered in British Columbia. Over 480 Pinnacle employees will be welcomed into the Drax Group, including its existing leadership.

Through this acquisition the enlarged Drax Group now owns or has an interest in 17 pellet plants and development projects across Canada and the Southern US with the capacity to produce 4.9 million tonnes of bioenergy wood pellets annually from 2022, with access to four deep water port facilities and three major wood fibre baskets.

Drax aims to become a world leader in bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS), and to be carbon negative by 2030, sharing its BECCS expertise around the world. Committed to ensuring the safe, efficient and sustainable operation of the enlarged group, Drax intends to invest in Pinnacle to deliver this outcome.

Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer of Drax, said:

“This is an exciting and important acquisition which positions Drax as the world’s leading sustainable bioenergy generation and supply business. I am delighted to welcome our new Pinnacle colleagues to the Drax family. Together we will help secure a zero carbon, lower cost, energy future by enhancing and growing sustainable bioenergy around the world.

“We are extremely proud that through this acquisition Drax becomes the world’s leading sustainable bioenergy generation and supply company, operating across North America, the UK, Europe and Asia.”

Duncan Davies, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle, added:

“This transaction marks the beginning of an exciting new future for Pinnacle. Drax is a world-class organization with an ambitious vision for sustainable biomass and a willingness to invest in the business. As part of Drax, we will continue to build a positive, inclusive and safe workplace and support the communities in which we operate through our partnerships with First Nations and local businesses.

“Bioenergy has an important role in enhancing forest health, and we look forward to working with the Drax team on our shared commitment to world-leading sustainability standards.”

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Editor’s Notes:

Drax now has ownership interests in a total of ten operational pellet plants, and one in development, in Western Canada and the US South:

PlantLocationStatusNameplate Capacity (Mt)Pinnacle Ownership (%)
Williams LakeBC, CanadaOperational0.2100%
HoustonBC, CanadaOperational0.230%
ArmstrongBC, CanadaOperational0.1100%
MeadowbankBC, CanadaOperational0.2100%
Burns LakeBC, CanadaOperational0.4100%
LavingtonBC, CanadaOperational0.375%
SmithersBC, CanadaOperational0.170%
EntwistleAlberta, CanadaOperational0.4100%
AlicevilleAlabama, USAOperational0.370%
High LevelAlberta, CanadaOperational0.250%
DemopolisAlabama, USADevelopment (Commissioning 2021)0.470%
Total  2.982%

These are in addition to the six pellet plants in the US South that Drax already owns:

  • LaSalle and Morehouse pellet plants in Louisiana,
  • Amite in Mississippi
  • Three satellite pellet plants in Arkansas which are in development.

Drax has access to four deep water ports, providing good access to European and Asian markets. The ports include:

  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
  • Mobile, Alabama, USA
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Drax maintains a rigorous and robust approach to bioenergy sustainability, as well as the safe operation of its pellet plants.

Pinnacle’s wood pellets are principally sourced from sawdust and other materials left over from existing sawmilling activity which would otherwise be left to decompose or be burned.

About Drax
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Its 3,400 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties.

Power generation:
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs. 

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

Pellet production and supply:
Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Through its two B2B energy supply brands, Haven Power and Opus Energy, Drax supplies energy to 250,000 businesses across Britain.

For more information visit www.drax.com