Green Whiskey: Scottish Distillery To Be Powered by Combined Heat and Power Plant

Scotland’s Macallan whisky distillery is set to get most of its heat requirement from a combined heat and power plant part-funded by the government.

The maker of Scotland’s national tipple will get about 90 percent of the steam it needs in the distillation process from the 74-million pound ($124 million) Estover Energy Ltd. biomass project in Speyside, the U.K. Green Investment Bank said today in an e-mailed statement. The bank, alongside John Laing Plc, plans to invest 26 million pounds in the project.

The investment is at least the fourth by Green Investment Bank in distilleries. The lender was set up by the government in November 2012 to spur spending on renewables and energy-saving measures by using its own money to generate finances from private companies.

“This investment in Speyside will not only help secure jobs, boost a vital industry and support the local supply chain but also generate renewable energy for homes in Scotland,” Business Secretary Vince Cable said in the statement.

The 26 million pounds will be split between John Laing and the bank in the ratio of 51 percent to 49 percent, according to the bank, which had spent 1.3 billion pounds of its 3.8 billion pounds of seed capital by the end of March. The project will seek to raise from the debt market the remaining 48 million pounds, guaranteed by the government’s Infrastructure U.K. unit.

In May, Green Investment Bank announced a 5 million-pound fund to pay for energy efficiency programs at a number of Scottish distilleries, naming Aberfeldy as the first to take advantage of the program. Balmenach became the second last month. The bank had already invested in the Tomatin distillery last year.

The project announced today will produce enough power to provide electricity to 20,000 homes, according to the statement. A consortium of local suppliers, including Stobart Biomass Products Ltd. and UPM Tilhill, will supply the plant with biomass, it said.

The project will create 123 jobs, including 23 permanent roles, according to the statement.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Whiskey glass via Shutterstock

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