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Scottish distilleries get GIB funding for biomasss

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is helping provide £5m of funding for biomass boilers at Scottish distilleries.

Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire will benefit from the funding with the potential for three similar projects to get cash. Tomatin distillery near Inverness was the first Scottish distillery to install a new biomass boiler at the end of last year, with help from GIB.

The biomass boilers will replace the existing heavy fuel oil boilers, which aims to reduce the distilleries’ energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions without any up-front capital investment.

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

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 its plant at Invergordon.

Bacardi, which owns the Aberfeldy distillery, estimates that the biomass boiler, to be up and running by the end of the year, could reduce its carbon footprint by up to 90%.

Bacardi has already used biomass for energy generation in its Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, and is planning a similar biomass investment at its tequila distillery in Mexico later this year.

UK Green Investment Bank group operations director Bank Rob Cormie encouraged other distilleries to install biomass boiler or other energy saving technology.

“Our ‘spend to save’ model means that companies don’t need to find the capital up-front and can start saving money from day one,” he said.

Half of the cash will come from GIB with the rest from match funding from the private sector.

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