Aberfeldy Distillery secures £1.2m green bank investment

image copyrightSylvia Barrow
image captionAberfeldy Distillery's heavy fuel oil boiler is due to be replaced under the project

Aberfeldy Distillery in Perthshire has secured £1.2m in green funding to install biomass boiler technology.

It is the second Scottish distillery to benefit from funds raised through the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) for energy efficiency projects.

Last year Tomatin Distillery, near Inverness, was given £1.2m to build a new biomass boiler.

Half of the funding for Aberfeldy is being provided by GIB, with the rest coming from the private sector.

Both projects involve replacing existing heavy-fuel oil boilers in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

GIB said Tomatin was already "on track" to reduce its emissions by about 80%.

The bank expects to announce funding for a further three projects involving distilleries in Scotland in the coming months.

Carbon footprint

Bacardi, which owns Aberfeldy Distillery, has estimated that the project could reduce the distillery's carbon footprint by up to 90%, by replacing all of the heat currently generated from fuel oil.

Aberfeldy provides the largest malt whisky component of Dewar's Blended Scotch Whisky.

GIB group operations director Rob Cormie said: "Projects like this can help distilleries to save money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

"I would encourage other distilleries to install a biomass boiler or other energy-saving technology - an investment to make long-term savings and to help to meet the industry's ambitious green targets.

"Our 'spend to save' model means that companies don't need to find the capital upfront and can start saving money from day one."

Half of the funding for Aberfeldy is coming from an Equitix-managed fund, in which GIB is an investor, and the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund.

The investment is in partnership with Balcas Limited, a UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass.

The new biomass boilers will be fuelled by sustainably-sourced wood pellet fuel.

'Welcome investment'

Environmental group WWF Scotland welcomed the Aberfeldy announcement.

Head of policy Sam Gardner said: "It's great to see Scotland's iconic whisky industry teaming up with the nation's growing renewables industry.

"This investment makes both business and climate sense for Aberfeldy Distillery, helping to slash carbon emissions and reduce energy bills, whilst supporting local jobs.

"This is another welcome investment by the Green Investment Bank, and exactly the kind of project we need to see if Scottish industry is to reap the full benefits of the low-carbon transition."

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