A Speyside distillery is receiving £1million of investment to instal a new environmentally-friendly biomass boiler
The new boiler at Balmenach should cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road.
The distillery, near Cromdale, is the third in Scotland to benefit from a £5million fund for energy efficiency from the Green Investment Bank (GIB).
Balmenach will pay back the investment from savings it should make on its energy use – predicted to be about a third.
Rob Cormie, group operations director at the bank, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to make another investment at a Scottish distillery, just a few weeks after we announced that we were making £5 million available to fund these schemes.
“Projects like this provide a sustainable supply of renewable energy and save distilleries money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“With limited capital investment, distilleries can save money from day one whilst also helping to meet the industry’s ambitious green targets.”
Balmenach is off the national grid and has therefore, in the past, relied on polluting heavy fuel oil to meet its energy needs.
The new system will use wood pellets sourced from local, sustainably managed forests and manufactured at Invergordon by the boiler’s operator Balcas.
Highland MP Danny Alexander said: “This latest investment will give a welcome boost to our most important export industry.
“With continued investment we can ensure that while the quality of the product remains high, the carbon footprint of production is low.”
The other two distilleries to already receive funding from GIB are Tomatin, near Inverness, and Aberfeldy in Perthshire.
Balmenach Distillery dates back to 1824, making it one of the oldest in Speyside.
After closing in 1993 it was bought five years later by Inver House Distillers Group which is owned by Asian drinks business ThaiBev.