Energy giant in talks to buy Scottish Power assets

Scottish Power's Cruachan power station

Drax is in talks to buy power generation assets from Scottish Power in a deal that would be a significant statement of intent.

Drax has transformed the coal-powered station that lies halfway between Selby and Goole into Europ’s biggest decarbonisation project. In August it switched on its fourth biomass generating unit, taking the power station in North Yorkshire a step closer to achieving its coal-free ambitions.

The group has this morning confirmed it is “in discussions” with Scottish Power’s Spanish parent company, Iderdrola, about the “potential acquisition of a UK portfolio of pumped storage, renewable hydro and gas-fired generation assets”.

Scottish Power’s hydro schemes consist of its pumped storage facility at Cruachan and two “run of river” schemes at Lanark and Galloway. It has four gas power stations, which are “highly efficient” combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) and a gas storage facility, as well as a biomass fuel plant at Daldowie.

Drax has emphasised the discussions are “prelimenary” and a deal has not been agreed.

It added: “Any potential acquisition would be fully debt funded and subject to shareholder approval.”

Drax is continuing its work to replace its remaining two coal units, with gas-fired power generating units. Its plans for the gas project have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, which accepted the application for examination.

The proposals will now be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and then considered by the Business Secretary with a decision expected in 2019.

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