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Green Investment Bank announces funding for biomass boiler at whisky distillery

The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, has today announced an investment of £576,733 for the financing of the installation of a biomass boiler at Tomatin Distillery near Inverness.

This £1.2 million investment, GIB’s first in Scotland, mobilises a further £600,274 of investment from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The investment is being made by ESI in partnership with Balcas Limited, a leading UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass. 

The ESI fund forms part of GIB’s allocation of investment into one of its priority sectors, energy efficiency.  GIB awarded the competitive fund mandate to Equitix to invest £50 million, matched by private investors, to drive investment in small-scale low carbon infrastructure requiring less than £30 million of financing. Equitix has also established EEEF to make investments into the energy efficiency sector, including as co-investors alongside ESI.

The boiler installation at Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, produces steam utilised in the production of whisky. The boiler, manufactured by a leading European manufacturer, replaces a high maintenance, inefficient oil fired boiler. The new boiler will replace 80 per cent of the heat load usually generated by the oil fired boiler.

The boiler will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel and as a result, CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by over 96,500 tonnes over the 20 year life of the investment. In addition to supporting the green economy and reducing carbon emissions, switching to a biomass boiler will save Tomatin a significant amount on their energy bills.

It will use sustainable EN plus A1 Standard pellets, manufactured by Balcas using renewable electrical and thermal energy and raw materials sourced from local, sustainably managed forests by Balcas at their plant at Invergordon. This will provide local jobs and support the local supply chain.

The whisky produced at the distillery is used in a range of blends and its single malts are currently sold in over 40 export markets. The site has been distilling whisky since the 15th century.

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