Two Moray politicians will meet with energy regulator Ofgem today to discuss extending the gas supply within the region.
In June, a £7.6million a 16-mile pipeline was completed to link four distilleries – The Glenlivet, Tormore, Tomintoul and Cragganmore – to Scotland’s main gas network.
MP Angus Robertson and MSP Richard Lochhead have been pressing for the pipeline to be expanded so it could bring wider benefits, and will today meet Ofgem executives at the Scottish Parliament to make their case.
The mains gas pipeline infrastructure in Speyside would require further investment to allow connections to domestic properties and other businesses.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Lochhead said: “With a major gas pipeline now going into the heart of rural Speyside we need to push every angle to get it opened up for connections to the wider community.
“I will be making that point to Ofgem’s officials and I hope we can get a positive way forward.
“The work done by the whisky sector has opened up a real opportunity here and we want Ofgem to get firmly on board with that opportunity.”
Mr Robertson said: “The economic test that Ofgem applies for developing new gas connectivity is weighted in favour of more densely populated urban areas.
“However, with this new pipeline reaching right into Speyside I will be asking Ofgem what they will do to maximise the benefits from the gas infrastructure for our rural communities.”