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Speyside whisky turns green

Published:  23 January, 2009

A scheme to reduce the carbon footprint of distilleries in Scotland's Speyside region has been given the go-ahead.

The £35 million project will use by-products from Scotch whisky production to generate heat and power for the equivalent of 9,000 homes.

The scheme, which has now been granted planning permission by Moray Council, is a joint effort between Helius Energy and the Combination of Rothes Distillers (CORD), a company set up over 100 years ago to process the liquid waste - known as pot ale - produced by distilleries.

CORD is joint-owned by Edrington, Chivas Brothers, Glen Grant, Inver House Distillers, Diageo and Benriach.

The heat and power generated by solid waste will be used either on-site or exported to the UK National Grid.

Pot ale will be turned into organic fertiliser for use by local farmers.

CORD general manager Frank Burns said: "This is exciting news and allows us to proceed with this innovative project.

"Not only will it generate renewable heat and power, but it secures additional markets for our distillery co-products and helps to ensure the sustainability of malt whisky distilling on Speyside."

The scheme is expected to come on stream within 18 to 24 months.