Case study - Wm Grant

01 Dec 2012

William Grant & Sons produce some of the world's best known brands of Scotch Whisky, including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts and Grant's.

The family-owned premium spirits company was the first Scotch Whisky producer to generate energy from whisky by-products at its Girvan site. The site is strategically important to William Grant & Sons, producing grain whisky that forms the heart of the popular Grant's blended whisky, Ailsa Bay Malt Whisky and Hendrick's Gin. It also houses offices, a cooperage and over 40 warehouses.

The ground-breaking energy initiative, commissioned in 2009, produces power in the form of steam and hot water for use on the 380 acre site and electricity, some of which is exported to the grid.

The 2009 anaerobic reactor (AR) plant forms part of the company's five year energy management plan which includes annual targets for site energy reduction.

The AR plant allows the residual organic matter in the distillery by-products to be converted into biogas by the presence of microbes. This gas is burned in turbines to producer renewable energy in the form of 25MWh of heat and 60MWh of electricity per day. This significantly reduces the site's reliance on fossil fuels. The scheme has the added benefit of improving the quality of the site's effluent, with the chemical oxygen demand of the site's effluent discharge being significantly reduced.

William Grant & Sons' multimillion investment in anaerobic technology and the combined heat and waste power plant was recognised in May 2010 when it was highly commended by the Carbon Trust's Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing Award.

It remains the largest investment of this sort outside of the utilities sector.