Plans for a pioneering £65 million bio-energy plant at Scotland's largest distillery, Cameronbridge, at Windygates in Fife, have been announced by drinks giant Diageo.

Following two years of rigorous research, the company, which makes leading global brands including Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Smirnoff, has signed a partnership agreement with energy management company, Dalkia, to create the new plant. It will generate major environmental benefits and is set to place Scotland at the forefront of green technology on the world stage.

Diageo said that the plant will, for the first time, integrate sustainable technologies, including anaerobic digestion and biomass conversion, on a commercial scale.

It is believed to be the largest single investment in renewable technology by a non-utility company in the UK, and is set to reduce annual CO2 emissions at the site by around 56,000 tonnes (the equivalent of taking 44,000 family cars off the road).

The proposed plant, which is subject to planning approval, will provide 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of electrical power used at the distillery.