Balmenach distillery installs £3M anaerobic digestion plant

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

The new biogas plant will produce 200kW of power and 230kW of heat
The new biogas plant will produce 200kW of power and 230kW of heat

Related tags Scotch whisky

Balmenach, one of Speyside’s oldest whisky distilleries and the home of Caorunn Scottish Gin, is set to become one of Scotland’s greenest distilleries with the announcement last month that work had started on a £3M biogas project to significantly reduce the site’s carbon footprint.

Inver House Distillers, the owner of Balmenach, has commissioned a new anaerobic digestion (AD) system, which breaks down the co-products of whisky production using micro-organisms to produce methane-rich biogas, which is used to power the site.

The new technology will integrate with Balmenach’s existing wood-pellet biomass boiler, and once complete, the combined system will generate enough renewable steam and electricity to meet 100% of the distillery’s energy requirements, while producing a surplus of electrical energy, which will be supplied to the grid.

Distillery’s energy requirements

When the facility becomes operational this summer, approximately 130m3​ of whisky co-products (pot ale and spent lees) will be processed to produce 2,000m3 ​of biogas each day, feeding a combined heat and power engine that will supply 200kW of power and 230kW of heat.

Located near Grantown on Spey and one of Inver House Distillers’ five malt whisky plants, Balmenach is on track to produce 2M litres of whisky for the blended Scotch market in 2018.

Synergie Environ, the Glasgow-based low carbon energy engineering company, is project-managing the installation at Balmenach, while Clearfleau, the specialist provider of on-site biogas plants for the food and drink industry, is working with Inver House to design and build the new system.

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