Diageo plans new Highland distillery

Diageo has announced Teaninich, near Alness in the Highlands, as the location for its plans to build a new £50 million malt whisky distillery.

Diageo's new Teaninich distilleryThe new distillery, which will create up to 20 new jobs, will be adjacent to the company’s existing Teaninich distillery but will have its own name and identity. It will have the capacity to produce around 13 million litres of spirit per annum from 16 copper stills. An on-site bio-energy plant will also be constructed to convert co-products into green energy to power the distillery.

Diageo also announced plans to invest £12million in expanding the existing Teaninich distillery to almost double its capacity. The single malt whisky produced at the new distillery and at the expanded Teaninich distillery will be used in a range of Diageo’s blended Scotch whisky brands.

Full planning applications will be submitted to Highland Council and the company said it hopes to be in a position to begin work on the new distillery in 2014.

Brian Higgs, Diageo malt distilling director, said: “We are delighted to announce the next phase of investment in expanding our Scotch whisky production capacity in Scotland.

“All three sites we considered for the new malt distillery were excellent potential locations but after detailed investigations Teaninich came out just ahead in terms of the many complex logistics required when planning such a development.

“It is a significant investment for the local economy around Alness and we look forward to working positively with Highland Council and the local community as we progress our plans.”

In addition to the new distillery Diageo announced a new phase of expansion to its Scotch whisky production in the Speyside area, with plans to invest around £30m in production facilities in the region.

This includes a project to increase the capacity of the Mortlach distillery in Dufftown and to build a new processing plant at Glendullan. The new plant will process by-products from the distillation process and produce a bio-gas which will be used to power the Glendullan distillery.

Higgs added: “Mortlach is one of Diageo’s most important malt whisky distilleries, producing the finest quality single malt used in our world-leading blended Scotch whiskies. We are delighted to be able to develop and expand this distillery.

“Along with the plans for the new bio-plant, our financial investment in Speyside is the equivalent to building a new distillery and with other expansion work already underway, the Moray economy is benefiting significantly from Diageo’s investment in Scotch whisky distillation.”

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