Scotland: Diageo opens £40m distillery

Global drinks giant Diageo has opened the doors of its new £40 million distillery in Speyside, Scotland.

The Roseisle distillery is the first malt distillery of scale to be opened in Scotland in over 30 years and, according to Diageo, has been built in response to the high demand for scotch whisky brands such as Johnnie Walker and Buchanan’s around the world.

The £40 million investment in Roseisle is part of a capital investment programme in Scotland, which has totalled £600 million over the past six fiscal years.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh said: “Economic growth and consumer demographics present a great opportunity for the scotch whisky industry and for Diageo’s outstanding brands, especially in the developing markets. The construction of Roseisle will allow Diageo to supply the growth in demand of its premium international Scotch brands as well as spotlights our firm commitment to both the growth of the category and the Scottish economy.”

Bryan Donaghey, managing director of Diageo Scotland, said: “The Roseisle malt whisky distillery represents one of Diageo’s biggest investments into the scotch whisky category and forms part of our £100 million three year investment programme in the development of scotch.”

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reported that exports have risen by 3% in value to £3.13bn, contributing £99 every second to the UK trade balance in 2009. Over the same period, export volumes increased by 4% worldwide, with the equivalent of 1.1bn 70cl bottles of Scotch whisky shipped. The SWA reported that scotch whisky enjoyed continuing success in Brazil (+44%), Mexico (+25%) and Taiwan (+14%), each a significant developing market in 2009.

The Roseisle distillery has already won two awards in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland 2010 Awards - Sustainability Project of the Year and the overall Project of the Year. It features 14 copper stills crafted by Diageo’s coppersmiths at Abercrombies, Alloa and has a production capacity of 10 million litres of spirit per annum. The liquid produced at Roseisle will be used in Diageo Scotch whisky blends from 2012.

The majority of the by-products will be recycled on site in a bioenergy facility, helping the distillery to generate most of its own energy and reduce potential CO2 emissions by approximately 13,000 tonnes (equivalent to 10,000 family cars) through direct savings on fuel use for steam raising.

Austin-Smith:Lord (ASL) were the architects commissioned for this project. The lead designer and structural engineers were AECOM and Rok were the main contractors.  The £14 million bioenergy facility was developed in conjunction with Dalkia.

The distillery will be formally opened by Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh on 11 October.