GIB pours £5m into distilleries bio
Backing for pipeline of boiler conversions at Scottish whisky sites
The UK Green Investment Bank is pouring £5m into a pipeline of energy efficiency projects at Scottish whisky distilleries.
Half of the cash, which will be used to replace heavy fuel boilers with biomass systems, will come from the institution with matched funding from the private sector.
The Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire (pictured) will be among those taking advantage of the new pot, which follows GIB backing last year at the Tomatin distillery near Inverness.
Tomatin is now on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 80%.
Aberfeldy, which is owned by Bacardi, will use the same core biomass boiler technology and systems with engineering and installation works kicking off immediately, the GIB said.
GIB group operations director Rob Cormie said: “Projects like this can help distilleries to save money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. I would encourage other distilleries to install a biomass boiler or other energy saving technology – an investment to make long term savings and to help to meet the industry’s ambitious green targets.”
Bacardi global technical director Stuart Lowthian added: “We are excited to be implementing a sustainable energy solution for our Aberfeldy distillery, which will reduce our carbon footprint by around 90%.
“This will be our second investment in biomass solutions for energy generation in the UK. The first was in our Bombay Sapphire gin distillery at Laverstoke Mill and we will be following up with a similar biomass investment in our tequila distillery in Mexico later this year.”
The Aberfeldy distillery was founded by John Dewar & Sons on the southern bank of the Upper Tay in 1896 and opened in 1898. It is the largest malt whisky component of Dewar's Blended Scotch Whisky.
The investment is being made by the Equitix-managed fund Energy Saving Investments, in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, alongside the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund and in partnership with UK wood pellet producer Balcas.
Equitix chief executive Geoff Jackson said: “Aberfeldy is the second project Equitix has closed with Balcas as part of a pipeline of opportunities to install biomass boilers into the Scottish whisky distillery industry. We look forward to continuing to invest in the sector and help distilleries achieve these targets.”
Image: Wikimedia Commons