22nd May, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Distilleries in Scotland are to benefit from a £5 million fund to help them become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The funding, half of which will from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) with the remainder matched by the private sector, will go toward funding the installation of biomass boilers, fuelled by wood pellets, at a number of Scotch distillers, replacing their existing fuel oil boilers to improve energy efficiency.
One such distillery to benefit is the Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire, owned by Bacardi, where works to replace its boiler with a more energy efficient alternative are set to begin immediately.
Bacardi have predicted the changes will result in a reduction in the distillery’s carbon footprint of 90%, by replacing 100% of the heat currently generated from fuel oil with biomass fuels.
The Tomatin distillery, near Inverness, received investment to replace its boilers last year and is now on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by c. 80%.
Rob Cormie, group operations director at the UK Green Investment Bank, 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. Our ‘spend to save’ model means that companies don’t need to find the capital up-front and can start saving money from day one.”
The investment is being funded as in partnership with Equitix, a UK investment management company, and Balcas Limited, a leading UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass.
Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas said: “Having a secure fuel supply and reducing environmental impact are two major challenges facing distilleries and are two key benefits delivered by our integrated energy solution.
“The Vyncke biomass steam boiler at Aberfeldy distillery will be up and running by the end of 2014 and will reduce the distillery’s carbon emissions by over 5000 tonnes annually, displacing all of the oil currently used onsite.
“We look forward to helping Aberfeldy distillery achieve their corporate and industry targets for reduction in fossil fuels.”