Scottish whisky distillery latest to go green with GIB funding

Another Scottish distillery is to go green after receiving funding from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Balmenach Distillery in Speyside is the third such facility to benefit from the GIB's investment in the Scottish drinks industry.

The project will be financed using £5 million of funding announced last month. Balmenach itself will also contribute capital in order to install new infrastructure required to support the project.

Balmenach's heavy fuel oil boiler will be replaced with a 4MW biomass boiler. As the distillery is in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands, and therefore not on the National Grid, heavy fuel oil has been used to meet its energy needs.

The GIB says the new boiler will reduce the distillery's energy costs by 30% as well as its greenhouse gas emissions, providing renewable energy with limited up-front capital investment. The boiler will be used to produce steam necessary for the whisky production processes.

Around 18,000MWh of heat will be produced annually, meeting all of the distillery's needs, using sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel as a feedstock. The pellets are manufactured by Balcas using renewable energy and raw materials sourced from local, sustainably managed forests at a plant at Invergordon.

Work has begun on the site and the boiler is being manufactured, with commission expected in Q1 2015.

Two other distilleries have also undergone similar projects through GIB funding - Tomatin Distillery, near Inverness, and Aberfeldy Distillery, Perthshire. Tomatin Distillery has reportedly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by around 80% and significantly cut its fuel costs.

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