Energy firm supports more than 18,500 jobs across the country, according to new study

The Drax Group contributed almost £1.7 billion to the British economy last year, a new study has claimed.

A report by researchers at Oxford Economics concluded the energy group contributed £1.67 billion to the UK’s gross domestic product in 2016, and supported more than 18,500 jobs across the country.

A regional breakdown of the figures show the group contributed £419 million in Yorkshire and the Humber, where Drax’s biomass power station is located.

The company also generated £232 million in the East of England, where its business electricity supplier, Haven Power is based.

The study adds Drax also supports 900 jobs in Scotland generates £76 million for its economy.

And the group supported 1,600 jobs and generates £130 million in Wales, which is the home to its recently-acquired business retail supplier, Opus Energy.

The study also found Opus Energy contributed £588 million towards UK gross domestic product last year and supported nearly 7,000 jobs across the country.

Oxford Economics’ senior economist, Osman Ismail said the acquisition of Opus Energy “solidifies Drax’s principal activities” of generating energy and supplying energy services.

“This report shows that Drax now supports more than 18,500 jobs across the UK and with our new business strategy in place, we believe we will boost this number further,” said the group’s chief executive, Dorothy Thompson.

“With the power station’s sophisticated supply chain and our growing retail business, we are making a positive economic contribution in every region of the UK. We are an important player in an energy sector that is crucial to delivering a low carbon economy as part of the Government’s wider Clean Growth Strategy for the country,” added Thompson.

“Since upgrading half of the power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, Drax is the UK’s biggest single site generator of renewable power – producing enough for four million households.”