Estover announces £74m Speyside CHP

  • New biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Speyside, Scotland will generate enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes.
  • The iconic Macallan distillery will use the heat generated by the plant in the form of steam, a critical component of the distillation process.
  • John Laing and the UK Green Investment Bank to invest £26m, alongside £48m debt to be raised from the bond market. The bond will be guaranteed by Infrastructure UK, part of HM Treasury.

The new biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant near Craigellachie, Moray, will generate 87.4 GWh per annum of renewable energy – enough to power more than 20,000 homes. It will also generate 76.8 GWh per annum of renewable heat. Together, the carbon saving equates to 42,000 tCO2e per annum, the equivalent to taking over 18,000 cars off the road.

The project will create 123 jobs (100 in peak construction and 23 permanent) and support one of Scotland’s most important export industries.

The new CHP facility will contribute to reducing the cost of energy at The Macallan distillery by providing 90% of all of the steam needed in the distillation process. By using biomass to generate heat instead of natural gas, the distillery will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by over 17,500 tCO2e, equivalent to taking almost 8,000 cars off the road.

The plant will be fuelled with sustainable forestry by-product sourced from the local area, one of the UK’s most productive forestry areas. A consortium of local growers and forest industry suppliers including Stobart Biomass Products Ltd. and UPM Tilhill will supply the plant.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“This investment in Speyside will not only help secure jobs, boost a vital industry and support the local supply chain but also generate renewable energy for homes in Scotland.  Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with business to give companies the confidence to invest, securing green jobs and a stronger UK economy."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said: 
“The Speyside guarantee is fantastic news for Scotland’s economic future. It will power thousands of homes with clean energy, and also support the whisky industry, a cornerstone of our economy, which brings in billions for Scotland and employs over 10,000 people.  
“Today, over £1 billion of infrastructure projects have now been brought forward as a result of the UK guarantees scheme and £36 billion worth of projects are pre qualified. Our action is creating the right conditions for more investment in our infrastructure and helping to build a stronger economy."   

Max Aitken, Co-CEO of Estover Energy said:
“This is a great step forward for Estover. To attract such high-quality investors for our first project is a ringing endorsement of the experienced team we've built up, and we look forward to financing our wider portfolio over the coming months.”

Marcus Whately, Co-CEO of Estover Energy said: 
“The Speyside project is the first of four similar projects that bring together some of the most respected names across several industries. The result is low-carbon energy for British industry, creation of rural jobs, and a major infrastructure investment for this part of Scotland.”

Alex FryComment