Scotch whisky to power renewable energy

Scottish whisky producers are using their distillery by-products in a project to produce electricity, animal feed and cut carbon emissions.

A £60.5 million biomass/feeds combined heat and power plant will be built by Helius CoRDe Ltd, a partnership between the Combination of Rothes Distillers, energy firm Helius Energy Plc and project equity company, Rabo ProjectEquity BV.

The group estimates that the plant, to open in 2013, will save 46,642 tonnes of CO2 emissions and create 100 construction jobs.

The plant will use the whisky by-products to generate 7.2 MW of electricity, which will be exported to the national grid. It will also produce as animal feed in the form of pot ale syrup.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, Gavin Hewitt, said: “This project underlines the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to investing in the future.

“In 2009 the industry made a commitment to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy. The project shows how we can create a virtuous circle within the Scotch Whisky production process.

“The innovative project is an excellent example of what can be achieved through collaboration between Scotch Whisky distillers. It will be a welcome boost to the region in these challenging economic times.”

The Scotch Whisky Industry’s environment strategy, introduced in 2009, provides an assurance that 20% of its primary energy requirements will be derived from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020, with a target of 80% by 2050.

Alison Brown

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