Scottish distillery reduces carbon emissions by 80%

Balcas Tomatin  0006
Geoff Jackson, CEO, Equitix; Lord Smith of Kelvin and Ernest Kidney, Managing Director, Balcas

Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, has become the first Scottish Distillery to install a new, state of the art, sustainable biomass boiler. This new renewable energy boiler, displaces the distillery’s previous heavy-fuel oil usage and produces both heat and steam for the whisky making process.

The installation of the new biomass boiler was carried out by Balcas as part of an Energy Supply Contract (ESCO) and has immediately improved the distillery’s energy efficiency, cutting carbon emissions by 80% or over 4,000 tonnes CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 1,200 family cars off the road.

The ESCO was part-financed by the UK Green Investment Bank, through its fund manager Equitix, and Balcas. Balcas is the largest manufacturer of wood pellets in the UK and Ireland and in addition to a production facility in Northern Ireland, the company also owns a manufacturing plant in Invergordon, Scotland, 35 miles north of the distillery. The Scottish plant alone produces 100,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets annually.

In cutting its carbon emissions by 80%, Tomatin Distillery is the first distillery in Scotland to achieve the Scotch Whisky Association’s target for 2050 – 37 years ahead of schedule.

Robert Anderson, chief executive of Tomatin Distillery and Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas provided UK Green Investment Bank Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin with an overview of the environmental and economic benefits of the new biomass fuelled steam boiler on a recent visit to the distillery.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of GIB said: “Every one of us can do more to save money and reduce our environmental impact through a greater commitment to energy efficiency. Tomatin Distillery has taken a lead and shown the very real gains that businesses of all sizes can make by investing in energy efficiency. The have provided a great example to other small and medium sized businesses that I hope others will follow.”

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