A clean energy project will cut the carbon emissions of the UK’s largest malting site by around 80%, contributing to the Scotch whisky sector’s emissions reduction targets, it was announced in June.

Simpsons Malt will decarbonise its Tweed Valley Maltings headquarters with the help of AMP Clean Energy. The latter will finance, develop and operate the GBP-45-million (USD 58m/EUR 53m) project which combines a 12-MW electric boiler, powered by curtailed wind energy, and three 6-MW biomass boilers fuelled by locally-sourced, low-grade woodchip. The scheme, due to be completed next summer, will decarbonise an industrial heat process. The biomass fuel will be used during periods when there is no surplus wind generation. 

Simpsons Malt said that the project will reduce significantly the carbon footprint of the malt leaving its Tweed Valley Maltings, enabling the company’s distilling industry customers to advance their own sustainability targets.  

The company says that it takes about 2.5 kg of malt to produce one litre of whisky and estimates that the new process will save 275 g of carbon per litre of whisky. The Scotch whisky sector produces more than 1.6 billion bottles a year, worth around GBP 6.2 billion, for the international market.