Bloomberg News

Drax Boosts Forward Power Sales as U.K. Coal-Plant Profits Rise

May 15, 2012

Drax Group Plc (DRX), owner of the U.K.’s biggest coal-fired electricity plant, sold more power forward as it benefits from higher profit margins.

Drax has sold an additional 3.3 terawatt-hours of power for 2012 and 4.9 terawatt-hours for 2013 since the end of February, the Selby, England-based utility said today in a statement. Full-year earnings will meet company forecasts, it said.

The utility has taken advantage of gains in so-called clean dark spreads, a measure of profit from selling electricity after accounting for the cost of coal and emission permits. While Drax’s earnings are underpinned by coal-fired power generation, it’s also looking to expand the use of organic feedstock such as wood chips or straw to cut carbon output.

Drax may invest as much as 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion) to burn more biomass at its plant in Selby, Chief Executive Officer Dorothy Thompson said in February. Investment will depend on the implementation of subsidy proposals being studied by the British government. It expects results of the review by the end of next month.

Drax’s power sales amount to 25.3 terawatt-hours for this year and 14 terawatt-hours for 2013, it said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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