Muir Construction breaks ground on £20m zero carbon distillery

Muir Construction breaks ground on £20m zero carbon distillery

(from left) Gordon Stewart, construction manager, Muir Construction; Stevie Caughey, construction project manager, Ardgowan Distillery; Scott Hardie, project engineer, Muir Construction; and Martin McAdam, CEO, Ardgowan Distillery

Ardgowan Distillery, Inverclyde’s zero-carbon whisky producer, has commenced construction on its £20 million facility, hailed as the “cathedral of whisky”.

Inverkeithing-based Muir Construction 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, including core groundworks, steelwork, and distillation equipment, enabling Ardgowan to begin producing its own spirit from 2024.

This first build phase represents the culmination of almost seven years’ careful planning for the distillery founders, marking a huge milestone in the ergonomic, energy efficient distillery and visitor experience, which will create up to 47 local jobs and produce up to 1m litres of premium whisky per year.

The innovative distillery design uses low environmental impact composite cladding, timber and steel materials to create a modern Nordic long hall, symbolising resurrection and rising from the ashes of the former Ardgowan Distillery in Greenock, which was bombed during the 1941 Blitz.

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. The distillery has partnered with Heriot-Watt University and engineers Briggs of Burton to develop technology to capture all of the CO2 in its fermentation process and transform it into green biomethane – a technique which has never been used in a Scotch whisky distillery before.

Martin McAdam, CEO, said: “It’s been almost seven years in the planning, spanning Brexit, a global pandemic, and five Prime Ministers. But now, finally, we have started construction

“Muir have been integral in constructing some of the finest Scotch Whisky distilleries open today and are at the forefront of several pioneering Scottish sustainability projects. We welcome their expertise as we embark on the first major phase of our state of the art distillery.”

Muir Construction, part of Muir Group, is established in distillery construction, previously working with a number of major distillery companies, including William Grant & Sons, Distell and Glenmorangie. It has also worked on a number of key sustainability projects, including the Queens Quay Energy Centre in Glasgow and Celtic Renewables.

Ardgowan’s multi-award-winning selection of sherry cask influenced malts recently celebrated a triple gold win at the 2022 Scotch Whisky Awards, their Clydebuilt whisky range is available from specialist retailers across the UK.

To date, a total funding package of £24m has been secured for the project, with the distillery recently raising in excess of £3.6m via a convertible loan note to shareholders.

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