Diageo – which makes leading global brands including Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Smirnoff – plans to build a bioenergy facility at Scotland’s largest distillery, Cameronbridge in Fife.Diageo has signed a formal partnership agreement with energy management company Dalkia to create the new facility for a cost of approximately $120 million.
The facility will, for what Diageo says is the first time, integrate sustainable technologies – including anaerobic digestion and biomass conversion – on a commercial scale. It will be the largest single investment in renewable technology by a non-utility company in the UK and is set to reduce annual CO2 emissions at the site by approximately 56,000 tonnes.
The proposed facility, which is subject to planning approval, will recover 98% of thermal steam and 80% of electrical power at the distillery.
Dalkia will construct the facility over the next two years and then transfer to Diageo under a finance lease, while continuing to be managed by Dalkia.
The bioenergy facility will generate renewable energy from “spent wash” – a mixture of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water – produced during distillation. The spent wash is separated into liquid and dried solids. The liquid is then converted, via anaerobic digestion, into biogas and the dried solids form a biomass fuel source.
Around 90,000 tonnes of co-products, which would have required transport off-site by road, will be turned into bioenergy in the form of electricity and steam for use at the distillery. The facility will also recover almost a third of the site’s water requirements.