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Distil investee breaks ground on GBP20 million whisky distillery

16th Nov 2023 12:45

(Alliance News) - Distil PLC on Thursday said investee Ardgowan Distillery Co Ltd has broken ground on the first phase of its GBP20 million whisky distillery.

The London-based premium drinks manufacturer has brands including RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin & Vodka, Trove Botanical Vodka and Blavod Black Vodka.

In August 2021, Distil invested around GBP3 million in Ardgowan via a loan.

It said Muir Construction Ltd will deliver the first build phase, which is expected to last 12 months and will see the completion of the distillery's main production elements.

Distil said this includes core groundworks, steelwork, and distillation equipment, enabling Ardgowan to begin producing its own spirit from 2024.

"The ambitious plans for the new net-zero distillery include cutting-edge technologies and partnerships with new technology developers to deliver a truly carbon-neutral spirit," Distil said.

"The distillery has partnered with Heriot-Watt University and engineers Briggs of Burton to develop technology to capture all the [carbon dioxide] in its fermentation process and transform it into green biomethane - a technique which has never been used in a Scotch whisky distillery before."

Distil said the distillery has plans to use the green biomethane to heat both the whisky and gin stills.

Commissioning of the gin still has been delayed due to the need to change some of the instruments, Distil said, but it said it is working closely with Ardgowan to monitor progress "with the aim of distilling the first Blackwoods at Ardgowan as soon as possible".

"It's been almost seven years in the planning, but now, finally, we have started construction. When embarking on this project, we wanted to take time ensure that we were able to partner with the highest calibre engineers and incorporate the very latest technologies to ensure that we were minimising our impact on the environment," said Ardgowan Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam.

Shares in Distil were up 18% to 0.50 pence each in London on Thursday afternoon.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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