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28 Nov 2023

THE GLENALLACHIE DISTILLERY AWARDED GRANT FOR DECARBONISATION PROJECT

The Scotch whisky distillery secures funding for technology to improve on-site energy efficiency during production.

Independent Scotch whisky distillery The GlenAllachie has secured a substantial grant from the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF) to install technology which will improve its energy efficiency.

Owned by Scotch whisky veteran Billy Walker, the Speyside-based single malt producer currently sits at around the industry average for energy consumption.

The proposed technology – Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR) – will reduce current energy demand by 50%.

MVR will capture low-grade waste heat from the stillhouse otherwise lost to the environment and reroute it back into the stills.

Around 70% of the energy used at The GlenAllachie can be attributed to powering its four pot stills; reducing waste energy will decrease its carbon footprint significantly.

To facilitate this work, SSE is upgrading local infrastructure and installing a larger transformer to enable the advanced technology to be successfully integrated.

The update will allow the distillery to progressively move away from using natural gas to eco-friendly electricity and alternative green energy sources, including biogas, which is already produced from the distillery’s co-products, and hydrogen when commercially available.

To power the MVR technology in the most renewable way possible, The GlenAllachie is installing 134 solar panels in a neighbouring field.

In addition, they are working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise to modify the existing boiler, improving its controls and efficiency.

Commenting on the awarded grant, The GlenAllachie’s Operations Director Richard Beattie shares:

“We’re thrilled at the news of our successful grant application for a project that will help us as an SME to significantly boost our sustainability credentials. We are acutely aware of the climate crisis and strive to punch above our weight within the Scotch whisky industry to decarbonise our processes.

“Green technology tends to be very expensive during the initial phases of development. It can, therefore, often prevent smaller, independent firms from installing the equipment required to achieve their green ambitions. This cash injection from the SIETF, backed by the Scottish Government, is vital to facilitate such a move.

“We are pleased not only to receive the grant but also the significant support from Briggs of Burton, who, over recent years, have provided guidance on MVR projects and are now taking this technology to the next level”.

The acceptance of the grant coincides with the recent announcement of an upgraded visitor centre and the addition of a bar and tasting lounge at the distillery.

The visitor attraction also installed electric vehicle charging points, now powered by solar energy, for customer use earlier this year.

Electric Vehicle Charging Point at The GlenAllachie Distillery