Scottish firm secures government funding for green fuel technology using whisky by-product

The UK government’s Department for Transport revealed on Monday that Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables has been awarded £11m in funding to develop greener fuel technology, which will use whisky by-product to be turned into transport fuel at new plant in Scotland.

According to the Department for Transport, the development of biofuels is important in keeping Britain moving forward in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. Celtic Renewables will use waste products from the world-famous whisky industry that would otherwise be disposed, to make fuel for cars and lorries. The latest biofuels use low value waste products to produce high value fuel and are designed to power modes of transport that cannot be electrified, such as heavy lorries or even aircraft, in the near future

In addition, Swindon company Advanced Plasma Power will be given £11m in government funding to help develop biofuels from ordinary household waste and Tees Valley-based company, Nova Pangaea Technologies Ltd, will get £3m to help make biofuels using forestry waste.

The total funding of £25m for biofuel development will help the successful SMEs invest in new premises and technology, helping to generate over 5,000 new jobs by 2030, open up international markets and promote the renewable energy sector. It also means that the Scottish, the Northern Powerhouse, Wiltshire and the UK economy will all benefit from government’s investment in the biofuel development projects.

The latest biofuels use low value waste products to produce high value fuel and will help power modes of transport that cannot be electrified in the near future such as heavy lorries or even aircraft. The UK government competition was introduced to overcome barriers to investment by offering matched funding to support the construction of pre-commercial scale demonstration plants in the UK.

Transport minister Andrew Jones commented:

“This is a great example of the UK government’s commitment to innovative transport technology and supporting jobs and growth.

“Biofuels have an important role to play in keeping Britain moving forward in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. This £25m is not only a vital investment in technology that will help secure a greener future but will also help support the creation of thousands of jobs.

“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel. The 3 successful bids show how the government is investing in transport and making better, clean journeys.”

Deputy Chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, Julie Hesketh-Laird, added:

“The Scotch Whisky industry is always looking at innovative ways to support Scottish industry and help the environment. Projects that make use of whisky by-products for alternative means are a great example of us working together to find a high-tech solution.

“The production of bio-butanol from draff and pot ale is another example of the industry putting its by-products to a good use to promote sustainability and jobs. There are many such exciting and worthwhile initiatives across the Scotch Whisky industry.”