Scotch whisky distilleries to share £5m green fund

Aberfeldy distillery has been awarded 1.2m as part of the investment. Picture: Getty
Aberfeldy distillery has been awarded 1.2m as part of the investment. Picture: Getty
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Whisky distilleries are to share in £5 million of funding to improve their energy efficiency, the Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced.

The money will finance the installation of biomass boilers to replace the existing inefficient heavy fuel oil boilers, reducing the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions without any up-front capital investment.

Rob Cormie, group operations director at Edinburgh-based GIB, said: “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.”

Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire has been awarded £1.2m as part of the investment. Its owner, Bacardi, estimates that the project could reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by up to 90 per cent.

Engineering and installation works will start immediately.

The latest announcement comes after Tomatin distillery was awarded £1.2m last year. It is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 80 per cent. Three other distilleries could share in the funding but details have still to be finalised.

The new biomass boilers will be fuelled by sustainably-sourced wood pellets manufactured by Balcas from sustainably managed forests at its plant at Invergordon.

Half of the £5m will come from the GIB, with matched funding from the private sector.

WWF Scotland head of policy Sam Gardner said: “This is another welcome investment… and exactly the kind of project we need to see if Scottish industry is to reap the full benefits of the low carbon transition.”