A new £60.5 million power plant is under construction in Rothes, Speyside, Scotland. The plant will use Scotch Whisky distillery by-products to generate electricity, produce animal feed and drastically cut carbon emissions.
Fichtner Consulting are the project managers; the civils contractor is Robertson Construction Northern Limited, the power plant contractor is Aalborg Energie Technik and the process plant contractor is Wellman Robey Limited.
The plant is thought to be the first of its kind in the world and will generate 7.2MW of electricity – enough to power 9,000 homes – most of which will be for export to the national grid. It is estimated that the plant will save 46,642 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The project will create approximately 100 jobs during construction and it will employ around 20 full time staff when operational in 2013.
Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “This project underlines the Scottish Whisky industry’s commitment to investing in the future. In 2009 the industry made a commitment to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy. The project shows how we can create a virtuous circle within the Scotch Whisky production process. The project is benefitting from initiatives such as the Renewables Obligation Scotland, which is vital for renewable energy schemes such as this to go ahead.
“The innovative project is an excellent example of what can be achieved through collaboration between Scotch Whisky distillers. It will be a welcome boost to the region in these challenging economic times.”
Frank Burns, Managing Director of Helius CoRDe Ltd, added: This innovative project demonstrates how Scotch Whisky by-products can be put to good use to provide a big boost to the environment and ensure there are new sources of energy available for future generations. It also shows distillers working together, and in partnership with third party expertise, for the future benefit of the entire industry. Without that collaboration the Rothes plant would not be possible.”
The Combination of Rothes Distilleries (CoRD)
The Combination of Rothes Distilleries (CoRD) has been processing co-products from the Speyside whisky since 1904, when it was set up as a joint venture to serve the five distilleries then operating in Rothes. In its early days, it specialised in the drying and processing of surplus distillery pot ale into fertiliser cake.
In 1970, CoRD opened its first joint processing plant and handled two key co-products of distilling, draft and pot ale, in order to produce a finished nutritional animal feeds prduct (Distillers Dark Grains). A second processing plant was added in 1974 and today CoRD handles co-products from up to 16 Speyside distilleries owned by its shareholders: The Edrington Group, Chivas Brothers, Glen Grant Distillery Co, Inver House Distillers, Diaego Distilling and Ben Riach Distillery Co.
Helius Energy plc
Helius Energy plc was established to identify, develop, own and operate biomass fired renewable electricity generation plants. This will help meet the growing need for reliable power from renewable sources.
Helius possesses a significant combination of knowledge and renewable energy markets, biomass energy technologies, biomass fuel sources, project development, implementation and operation of power generation plants.
Adrian Bowles, CEO of Helius Energy, said: “We are delighted to start construction of this plant in Rothes and look forward to delivering low carbon renewable energy into the national grid on schedule.”
Helius is also developing 100MWe projects in Avonmouth and Southampton.
Helius CoRDe Limited
Helius CoRDe is a Joint Venture Company, comprising Helius Energy, CoRD and Rabo Project Equity BV to develop, build own and operate the proposed biomass CHP project at Rothes.