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Drax Says Carbon-Dioxide Emissions Rose 13% Last Year on Output

Drax Group Plc, owner of western Europe’s largest coal-fired power station, said its carbon-dioxide emissions rose 13 percent last year after it produced more electricity during a colder-than-usual winter.

The 4,000-megawatt plant in Yorkshire, northern England, required emissions permits to cover 12.9 million metric tons of CO2 last year, the company said today in a statement. That compares with 10.3 million the previous year. Both are in addition to 9.5 million allocated for free.

Drax is covered under the European Union’s emissions trading program, the world’s biggest. It has an annual cap of 9.5 million tons of CO2 in the years through 2012 and must buy permits to cover any excess. Drax will have to purchase allowances to cover all of its emissions from 2013, the third phase of the EU program.

Drax said it paid an average of 12.60 pounds ($20.38) a metric ton for emissions permits last year, compared with 14.30 pounds a year earlier. This reflected a trading strategy of buying permits when it sells power in advance, to protect against falls in electricity prices, Drax said in the statement.

EU permits for December 2010 traded from 12.25 euros to 16.73 euros a ton with an average of 14.47 euros last year.

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