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Speyside Biomass CHP Plant

John Laing, along with the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), has invested in a new £74m green energy facility in Speyside, Scotland developed by Estover Energy Ltd (Estover). The project will power more than 20,000 homes and provide heat for one of the world’s most iconic whisky distilleries.


The new biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant near Craigellachie, Moray, will generate 87.4 GWh per annum of renewable electricity – enough to power more than 20,000 homes. It will also generate 76.8 GWh per annum of renewable heat. Together, the carbon saving equates to 42,000 tCO2e per annum, the equivalent to taking over 18,000 cars off the road.

The project will create 123 jobs (100 in peak construction and 23 permanent) and support one of Scotland’s most important export industries.

The new CHP facility will contribute to reducing the cost of energy at The Macallan distillery by providing c. 90% of all of the steam needed in the distillation process. By using biomass to generate heat instead of natural gas, the distillery will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by over 17,500 tCO2e, equivalent to taking almost 8,000 cars off the road.


John Laing and GIB have made a £26m equity investment in the project. The remainder of the funding, in the form of debt, came from a bond issued by the project company and listed on the London Stock Exchange. The bond has been guaranteed by Infrastructure UK, part of HM Treasury.

The project is being developed by Estover Energy, an Edinburgh and London based SME specialising in developing biomass CHP projects. The plant will be fuelled with sustainable forestry by-product sourced from the local area, one of the UK’s most productive forestry areas. A consortium of local growers and forest industry suppliers including Stobart Biomass Products Ltd. and UPM Tilhill will supply the plant.