NORTH Yorkshire power giant Drax has undergone a restructure following growth of the business as it continues its £700 million project to shift away from coal burning.

The power station near Selby, which is one of the largest in Europe, will this year start converting its third coal fired unit into a biomass burner as part of plans to become the biggest renewable plant in the world.

Following growth in the Drax Group as a result of the biomass project's operations, group chief executive Dorothy Thompson has split the group into three separate business.

Drax Power Ltd will continue to be operate out of North Yorkshire, producing between seven and eight per cent of the country's electrical needs, while the group's biomass pellet supply facilities in the US will become a separate arm, with its retail supply business Haven Power completing the trio of subsidiaries.

While Drax production direct Peter Emery has taken a group wide role as group operations director, Andy Koss has been promoted from director of strategy to chief executive of the generating arm Drax Power.

Mr Koss, who joined the business ten years ago as treasurer, and worked on the refinancing as part of the stock exchange listing in 2005, has spend the last 18 months working on business development, sustainability and regulation.

He said: "There were two drivers behind the new structure. Firstly we are becoming a more mature, and a more grown up business.

"We now have production of pellets in the US, power generation here in North Yorkshire, and our supply arm Haven in Ipswich.

"This recognises that on the broader group we needed specific, dedicated management teams in each of the businesses. This was about putting a dedicated management team into Drax Power to drive the business and profitability.

"Also we are looking to grow, and have plans to grow the business. This new structure enables us to do that."

Drax successfully converted its first generating unit to burn solely biomass in April 2013.

The entire project has seen the group introduce new biomass pellet plants, new rail freight wagons, which Drax helped to develop and owns the designs for, new facilities at ports in both the UK and US, and huge changes in receipt, storage and handling on site.

As well as its plants in the US Drax now has a biomass pellet plant at Goole which can produce 100,000 tonnes of biomass pellets per year using straw by-products and miscanthus from UK farmers.