GIB invests in green energy for Scottish whisky distillery

20th August 2014

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A new combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Speyside, Scotland will generate enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes and provide steam for one of Scotland's most iconic whisky distilleries.

The biomass CHP plant near Craigellachie, Moray will generate 87.4 GWh of renewable electricity and generate 76.8 GWh of renewable heat a year. The annual combined carbon saving is equivalent to 42,000 tonnes of CO2.

The Macallan distillery, based in Speyside, will receive around 90% of all of the steam needed in the distillation process from the new biomass CHP, which will reduce its current greenhouse-gas emissions by an estimated 17,500 tCO2e.

Infrastructure investment group John Laing has teamed up with the UK green investment bank (GIB) to invest £26 million in the scheme. A further £48 million will be raised from the bond market and will be guaranteed by the Treasury.

Scottish biomass CHP specialists Estover Energy will develop the project, which is expected to create an estimated 100 jobs during construction and 23 permanent jobs when the project is completed in 2016–17.

UK business secretary Vince Cable said: "This investment in Speyside will not only help secure jobs, boost a vital industry and support the local supply chain but also generate renewable energy for homes in Scotland."

The CHP plant will be fuelled by locally-sourced forestry by-products from one of the UK’s largest and most productive forestry areas. A consortium of local growers and forest industry suppliers, including Stobart Biomass Products and UPM Tilhill, will supply the feedstock.

To date, the GIB has invested in 32 projects in 200 locations around the UK, directly committing £1.3 billion and helping to mobilise £4.8 billion into the UK’s green economy.

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