Diageo plans £30m Clynelish Distillery expansionBy Amy Hopkins
Diageo has unveiled plans for a £30 million expansion of its Clynelish Distillery as part of the group’s £1 billion programme to increase Scotch production.
The expansion of the Sutherland-based Scotch whisky distillery is currently awaiting the green light from Highland Council.
As part of the UK drinks giant’s £1bn financing programme for Scotch whisky, these plans fall under the group’s £150m investment in the Highland Council area, which also includes the expansion of the Glen Ord and Teaninich Distilleries, as well as plans to build a new distillery at Alness.
The plans propose to install an additional mashtun for soaking barley, 10 new washbacks for fermentation, and six new copper stills, doubling production capacity at the distillery to nine million litres of alcohol a year.
A bio-energy plant is also planned for the site to provide non-fossil fuel energy to power the distillery.
Keith Miller, Diageo director of distillation and maturation, described these plans as “another major milestone” in Diageo’s £1bn programme.
“Clynelish is a very special distillery, producing spirit which is highly prized for its quality and character and is an important part of our Scotch whisky blending inventory, so this is an important part of our investment programme,” he said.
“I’m particularly pleased at the investment we are making in the Highland region… which we believe is bringing great benefit to the local economies and communities.”
Diageo announced its £1bn investment plans to increase its Scotch whisky production over a five-year period in June 2012.
As well as the distillery expansions the company is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed at Cluny in Fife.
In November last year, the company announced that it had completed a £14 million expansion of its Linkwood and Mannochmore malt whisky distilleries near Elgin.
Work is currently progressing on the construction of a new bio-energy plant at Glendullan near Dufftown and a major £18m expansion of the Mortlach distillery, also near Dufftown. Diageo announced last month that it would be releasing four new expressions of Mortlach single malt this summer.
Diageo will hold community engagement sessions with Sutherland locals to share further details of the Clynelish proposals.