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Distillery bio gets double shot

GIB, John Laing investing £26m in CHP plant at Speyside whisky site

Distillery bio gets double shot image

The UK Green Investment Bank and John Laing are jointly investing £26m in a biomass facility at the Macallan whisky distillery in Speyside, Scotland.

The £74m combined heat and power plant to be developed by Edinburgh-based Estover Energy near Craigellachie, Moray, will have an electrical capacity of up to 12.5MW and a heat capacity of 10MW.

It is expected to generate 87.4GWh of electricity and 76.8GWh of renewable heat per annum with the electricity sold onto the national grid and the heat to Macallan.

The GIB said the facility will contribute to reducing the cost of energy at the distillery by providing some 90% of the steam needed for the distillation process.

GIB chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said: “This project is a great example of the wide-ranging benefits of renewable energy. It generates power from a sustainable source, reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“It generates heat for a local business, the iconic Macallan distillery, helping to save it money and reduce its carbon footprint. It supports local landowners who are providing much of the fuel. It also creates and supports local jobs.”

John Laing executive director for primary investment Derek Potts added: “This is an exciting investment for John Laing, not only because of the clear opportunities that the facility will create for the Speyside economy but also because this is our first investment in biomass CHP and a significant milestone in our growing presence in the renewable energy sector.”

The remainder of the funding needed for the scheme will be raised on the bond market and the investment by the GIB and John Laing is conditional on the successful conclusion of the bond process.

The plant will be fuelled with sustainable forestry by-products sourced from the local area and a consortium of local growers and forest industry suppliers including Stobart Biomass Products and UPM Tilhill will handle supply.

Image: the plant will be fuelled by forestry by-products (Estover)

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