SEVERAL SPEYSIDE COMMUNITIES have been linked to mains gas supplies for the first time thanks to a £4million Distillery project that has been completed ahead of schedule.
Local homes and businesses will benefit from the new eight-mile gas pipeline laid by infrastructure firm Fulcrum and connected the Dalmunach, Tamdhu, Cardu and Knockando distilleries.
The project is the result of an investment by distillery owners IMD, Diageo and Chivas Brothers and is the second project delivered by Fulcrum in recent years, following on from the £7.6million pipeline completed in 2014 that linked the Tomintoul, Tormore and Glenlivet distilleries.
With the pipeline in place the distilleries will be able to cut their carbon footprint, with the number of road journeys during the summer months cut significantly as a result of the direct supply during the lower domestic gas use period between April and September.
However, the project was not straightforward, with the Sheffield-based company facing poor weather and difficult challenges in carrying the pipeline over seven bridges. Fulcrum say that “numerous enquiries” have been received to establish a domestic connection from the pipeline.
Fulcrum chief executive Martin Donnachie said: “This is one of the most technically complex gas infrastructure projects delivered in the UK for some time, which makes it very significant in the expansion of the country’s gas network.
“It proves our ability to overcome a variety of challenges to support growth of the network in rural or urban environments.”
Diageo’s distilling and maturation director, Keith Miller, added: “We are delighted to have been able to partner with our Scotch whisky colleagues to invest in this gas pipeline. This is a significant investment in the infrastructure which underpins our business and an investment in the sustainability of our industry.”
It is hoped that the pipeline will eventually provide year-round gas supplies to the distilleries.