Diageo announced today its plans for an approximate $50 million (£30 million) expansion of the Clynelish Distillery in Sutherland, in the North-East of Scotland. As part of Diageo’s $1.6 billion investment to increase Scotch whisky production, plans have been submitted to Highland Council for the major expansion at the distillery.
The Clynelish expansion will take the ongoing capital investment by Diageo in the Highland Council region alone to almost $250 million, including major expansions at Glen Ord and Teaninich Distilleries and plans to build a new distillery at Alness.
“The plan to expand Clynelish Distillery is another major milestone in Diageo’s $1.6 billion investment to increase Scotch whisky production capacity to help meet the future growth in global demand for our brands,” said Keith Miller, Diageo Director of Distillation and Maturation. “Clynelish is a very special distillery, producing spirit which is highly prized for its quality and character and is an important part of our Scotch whisky blending inventory, so this is an important part of our investment program.”
The Clynelish Distillery, which is located near the Sutherland town of Brora, is also home to one of Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centers, welcoming more than 5,000 visitors each year.
Doubling Production Capacity
Under the plans submitted, Clynelish Distillery will see the installation of an additional mashtun, ten new washbacks and six new copper stills. This adds to the ten washbacks and six stills which the distillery currently has, and will effectively double the production capacity to nine million liters of alcohol per annum, while retaining the unique character and quality of the spirit. A bio-energy plant is also planned for the site to provide non-fossil fuel energy to power the distillery.
As part of the planning process Diageo will hold a community engagement session in February to share further details of the Clynelish proposals with the local community.
Diageo announced its $1.6 billion Scotch whisky investment program in June 2012. As well as the distillery expansions the company is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed at Cluny in Fife.
Expansion at Glen Ord
The Clynelish announcement comes as six new copper stills were delivered to the Glen Ord Distillery as part of the $40 million expansion plan which is doubling the size of that distillery to over 10 million liters per annum. Diageo is also doubling the capacity at the Teaninich Distillery in Alness and is progressing plans to build a new malt whisky distillery and renewable energy plant on land adjacent to Teaninich. In total these projects represent a capital investment of nearly $250 million across the Highland Council area.