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`World`s first` whiskey-fuelled biomass CHP plant

The ‘world’s-first’ whiskey-fuelled biomass CHP plant is to be built in Scotland. The GreenSwitch CHP plant, which is capable of using wet biomass, will be powered using whiskey distillery by-products to create enough electricity for 9,000 homes.

This GBP50m joint venture between Helius Energy and The Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD) called Helius CoRDE, will use by-products such as process water, pot ale and draff for biomass fuel, soil conditioner, animal feed and water for cooling and cleaning purposes. Wood chip from sustainable forests will also help fuel the plant.

CoRD general manager Frank Burns said: “This agreement formalises the work we have undertaken so far and sets out the structure for us to take this project forward to completion. The ability to generate renewable heat and power and secure additional markets for our distillery co-products is a very exciting development for the malt whiskey industry on Speyside.”

Included in the project, is another plant which will turn the liquid co-product of whiskey production, known as pot ale, into a concentrated organic fertiliser and animal feed for local farmers.

Helius Energy managing director John Seed said: “Biomass will play a major role in meeting the UK’s targets for emissions reductions, and this is a model that has the potential to be rolled-out elsewhere. Drinking green whiskey may give you a warm glow but it’ll also help to avoid warming the planet.”

Construction on the plant is hoped to begin in early 2010 once construction and engineering contracts have been awarded. The plant should be active by 2012, creating between 20 and 100 jobs.

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