Scotch distillers sign £3.9m pipeline deal

Three Scotch whisky producers have signed a £3.9 million deal to build a 13km pipeline, linking four of their distilleries to Scotland’s main gas network.

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(L-R) Fulcrum operations managers Grant Watson and Sammy Waters and Fulcrum regional manager Ronnie Close outside Chivas Brothers’ newly opened Dalmunach Distillery

Utilities giant Fulcrum has won the multi-million contract to build the pipeline, which will be funded by three whisky producers; Chivas Brothers, Diageo and Ian MacLeod Distillers, and will serve Speyside distilleries Tamdhu, Dalmunach, Cardhu and Knockando.

The pipeline will deliver approximately 4,700 cubic metres of gas every hour with connection to the gas network expected to help reduce the distilleries’ carbon footprints by cutting their reliance on fuel oil and ending the need for delivery by road tankers.

“We are delighted to be investing in partnership with our Scotch Whisky industry colleagues to develop the gas infrastructure on Speyside”, said Keith Miller, Diageo’s distilling and maturation director. “The new pipeline will improve the sustainability of our distilleries and it demonstrates again the contribution our industry makes to the local economy.”

Work on the pipeline will begin next month, with distilleries expected to be able to receive a gas supply from 1 April until 30 September each year, when domestic usage is lower.

In 2014, Fulcrum completed a £7.6million project to build a 16-mile pipeline connecting four other Speyside distilleries, bringing gas to Cragganmore, The Glenlivet, Tormore and Tomintoul distilleries on behalf of Chivas Brothers, Diageo and Angus Dundee. As a result, the distilleries have been able to switch to a less carbon-intensive fuel source.

Gordon Buist, Production Director for Chivas Brothers, said: “Chivas Brothers is pleased to collaborate on another gas pipeline project, bringing as it does considerable transport and carbon footprint benefits. It does, however, highlight the constraints of the gas network in this area of Scotland, in that the gas supply will only be available during the summer.”

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