GIB Aids Funding For Scottish Whisky Distilleries’ Biomass Project

22-05-14(2)picThe UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced £5m of funding for a pipeline of energy efficiency projects at a number of Scottish distilleries. Half of this will come from GIB, with matched funding from the private sector.

Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire will be taking advantage of the new funding available, following GIB’s announcement last year of an investment at the Tomatin distillery, near Inverness. Tomatin is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by c. 80 percent.

The projects will finance the installation of biomass boilers, to replace the existing, inefficient, heavy fuel oil boilers. This will reduce the distilleries’ energy costs and their greenhouse gas emissions, without requiring any up-front capital investment.

The boilers will be used to produce steam, necessary for several parts of the whisky production process.

The investment is being made by the Equitix-managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, alongside the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The investment is in partnership with Balcas Limited (Balcas), a British SME and leading UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass.

Vince Cable – “The UK Green Investment bank, capitalised with £3.8bn, has been set up to help businesses make the transition to a green economy right across the country… This investment in one of Scotland’s most important industries will help secure jobs, support the local supply chain and become more energy efficient”

The new biomass boilers will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel. The pellets are manufactured by Balcas using renewable energy and raw materials sourced from local, sustainably managed forests at their plant at Invergordon.

The Aberfeldy project will use the same core biomass boiler technology and systems as at Tomatin. Engineering and installation works will commence immediately.

Bacardi, who own the distillery, have estimated that the project could reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by up to 90 percent, by replacing 100 percent of the heat currently generated from fuel oil.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “The UK Green Investment bank, capitalised with £3.8bn, has been set up to help businesses make the transition to a green economy right across the country.

“This investment in one of Scotland’s most important industries will help secure jobs, support the local supply chain and become more energy efficient.

“Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with business to give companies the confidence to invest, securing green jobs and a stronger UK economy.”

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