Domestic and business energy consumers in several Speyside communities could be set to take advantage of a new gas pipeline being constructed for Distillery use.
Fulcrum Pipelines are currently laying a supply line along the A95, B9008 and B9136 that will ultimately provide a source of natural gas energy for the use of distilleries at Tormore, Glenlivet, Gragganmore and Tomintoul.
Now the company say that following talks with local MP Angus Robertson and MSP Richard Lochhead they can see “considerable benefits” through inclusion of local domestic and business consumers in the project.
A spokesman for the company said: “Following our recent, and ongoing, works to connect gas infrastructure pipelines to a number of leading Speyside distilleries, Fulcrum has consulted with Richard Lochhead MSP and Angus Robertson MP on the feasibility of extending the gas network further into rural parts of Scotland.
“Such a project could offer considerable benefits to local communities, giving those in more remote areas connectivity to cheaper, greener energy.
“We are currently engaging in very early stage discussions with the local MSP, MP and the wider community to ascertain if there is scope to bring natural gas connections to more rural areas.”
Robertson and Lochhead met with Fulcrum’s project manager, John McLuskey, last week, following which Angus Robertson said: “There is a clear opportunity from this commercial project supplying mains gas to four distilleries to get a community benefit by enabling affordable gas supplies to other local businesses and residences.
“This first meeting covered the process and costs involved for those looking to establish a domestic connection.
“I understand that Fulcrum will work with residents to reach the most cost effective solution for domestic connections and we will continue to work with them to find a way of maximising the benefit of this new gas pipeline to the wider community.”
Following what he said was a “very positive” meeting, Richard Lochhead announced the politicians will now seek further talks with distillery companies to find a way forward that would benefit the wider Speyside community.
He added: “With many homes and businesses ‘off-grid’ in Speyside energy cost issues are regularly raised with us and this project provides an opportunity to improve energy options for a good number of people along the route of the new gas pipeline.”