Energy efficiency

Tomatin Distillery reduces its carbon emissions by over 80%

08 Nov 2013



Local MP Danny Alexander and UK Green Investment Bank Chair, Lord Smith of Kelvin, visit distillery to see its new carbon saving biomass boiler

L-R: Geoff Jackson, CEO, Equitix; Ernest Kidney, Managing Director, Balcas; Robert Anderson CEO, Tomatin Distillery; Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair, UK Green Investment Bank; Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP.

Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, has become the first Scottish distillery to install a new, state of the art, sustainable biomass boiler. This new renewable energy boiler, displaces the distillery's previous heavy-fuel oil usage and produces both heat and steam for the whisky making process.

The installation of the new biomass boiler as part of an Energy Supply Contract (ESCO) has immediately improved the distillery's energy efficiency, cutting carbon emissions by 80% or over 4,000 tonnes CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 1,200 family cars off the road.

The ESCO was part-financed by the UK Green Investment Bank, through its fund manager Equitix, and Balcas. Balcas is the largest manufacturer of wood pellets in the UK with production sites in Northern Ireland and in Invergordon, Scotland, 35 miles north of the distillery. This plant alone produces 100,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets annually.

In cutting its carbon emissions by 80%, Tomatin Distillery is the first distillery in Scotland to achieve the Scotch Whisky Association's target for 2050 - 37 years ahead of schedule.

Robert Anderson, chief executive of Tomatin Distillery and Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas provided Danny Alexander MP and Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of GIB, with an overview of the environmental and economic benefits of the new biomass fuelled steam boiler when they visited the distillery today.

The Rt Hon Danny Alexander, Member of Parliament for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey said:

It is terrific to see this landmark Green Investment Bank project come online with its first investment in the Highlands. I'm delighted that Tomatin Distillery is to benefit, with the support of Balcas, from this flagship Lib Dem initiative which will reduce its energy costs and use cleaner energy. Both the Distillery and Balcas are to be congratulated for their forward thinking and positivity. The North of Scotland has huge potential for growth in renewables and green energy. I'm confident that this project will be the first of many to benefit the local economy and boost jobs in the area.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of GIB said:

Every one of us can do more to save money and reduce our environmental impact through a greater commitment to energy efficiency. Tomatin Distillery has taken a lead and shown the very real gains that businesses of all sizes can make by investing in energy efficiency. The have provided a great example to other small and medium sized businesses that I hope others will follow.

Robert Anderson, chief executive of Tomatin Distillery said:

We are delighted to welcome Danny Alexander and Lord Smith to Tomatin so that they can see for themselves how we as a company have embraced renewable energy and in doing so have achieved our 2050 carbon reduction targets from the Scotch Whisky Association. In addition to reducing our carbon emissions, the energy solution from Balcas has had many additional benefits to us including clear financial savings, the ability to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive for the next 20 years, and a local and secure fuel supply.

Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas said:

Tomatin is the first company to benefit from our unique integrated energy proposition and I congratulate them on achieving their carbon reduction targets for 2050. Given that the RHI is for the next twenty years we believe that having a world class solution for the supply of steam in an industrial or commercial setting backed with the security of supply of fuel for the next twenty years has, and will be, a decisive factor for many customers in this marketplace.


  • For more information on Balcas and images of the visit / pictures of the boiler contact Julie McCabe or Brittany Breslin at Massive PR on 028 9024 0250 or 07801 989950.
  • For more information on Tomatin Distillery contact Jennifer Nicol, Marketing Manager on 01463 248 148