UK Green Investment Bank funds biomass whisky distillery project

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is backing a £1.2m investment to install a biomass boiler at whisky distillery Tomatin near Inverness.

The GIB's first investment project in Scotland will see £576,733 come from the Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a major investor.

In addition, the investment mobilises a further £600,274 from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The investment is being made by ESI in partnership with Balcas Limited, a UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass.

The boiler installation at Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, produces steam utilised in the production of whisky. The boiler replaces a high maintenance, inefficient oil fired boiler, while the new boiler will replace 80% of the heat load usually generated by the oil fired boiler.

Adding to the efficiency of the distillery, the boiler will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel and as a result, CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by over 96,500 tonnes over the 20 year life of the investment.

UKGIB CEO Shaun Kingsbury said: "As well as significant emission reductions, the project will provide a boost to the local economy. We have a strong pipeline of investments in Scotland and hope to be able to announce further investments in Scottish distilleries, as well as other projects, very soon".

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: "The whisky distillery has always used a perfect blend of innovation and tradition. Today's investment from the Green Investment Bank, funded by the UK Government, will continue this proud tradition.

"By funding a new biomass boiler, we are helping Tomatin to become more energy efficient and high-tech. This money will also help secure local jobs and support the local supply chain.

"Despite tough international conditions, whisky exports have done very well. The industry is to be applauded for its achievements. I want to make sure we continue its success as we rebalance the economy and create wealth outside of the south east of England," added Cable.

Last month, the Green Investment Bank (GIB) released its first annual reviw which revealed that it had invested £635m in its first year of operation but recorded a net loss of £6.2m.

Launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable in November 2012, the bank was financed with £3bn of public money with the aim to invest in low carbon technology projects.

Leigh Stringer


biomass | CO2 | Energy Efficiency | green bank


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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