Distillers plan capacity boost

07 March, 2008

Scotch whisky producers expand operations to meet growing global demand

Several major distillers are expanding their production facilities to meet a global increase in demand for Scotch whisky.

Chivas Brothers is reopening its Braeval distillery, near Tomintoul, in July and has started talks with Moray Council about the expansion of Glenlivet, home of its flagship single malt. The moves comes as demand for Scotch whisky hits "a record high", according to chief executive Christian Porta.

Construction has already started on Diageo's 40 million plant at Roseisle in Moray. The distillery, the first to be built in Scotland in more than 30 years, will produce up to 10 million litres of spirit a year. The company said the move was down to the growing popularity of blended whisky.

Edrington is planning a 40 million investment in its Macallan distillery in Speyside, which will boost production by more than 30 per cent. Group operations director Graham Hutcheon said the plans included the re-opening of a mothballed stillhouse and the building of six new maturation warehouses.

Edrington's Glenglassaugh distillery in the Highlands is also due to reopen this year, after Dutch business Scaent agreed a 5 million acquisition.

Increased demand from central and eastern Europe and Asia has prompted the distillers to invest in extra capacity.

BenRiach Distillery Company's logistics manager Jim Love said: "It used to be more difficult to export to those countries.

"Now we have more realistic duties

and freer movement for people and transport."

Single malt is selling well in emerging markets like China and India, according to Eddy Moran, regional sales manager for Inver House Distillers. "Single malt is going through a renaissance in export markets because people have a lot more disposable cash," Moran said.

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