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Piping in world’s first green hydrogen distillery

Arbikie distillery

JAMES Ramsay, the industrial and commercial heating and pipework specialist, has been appointed to support the installation of the world’s first green hydrogen-powered distillery at Arbikie Highland Estate, Lunan Bay, Montrose. 

As work for James Ramsay begins on site next week, the team is set to install a new Byworth hydrogen ready boiler that will run alongside the site’s existing oil-fired steam boiler. 

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Working on behalf of Locogen, which is project managing the green hydrogen distillery project and providing all the expertise, services and support for the distillery to ensure the new system is compliant and meets the environmental challenges ahead, Ramsay’s team of engineers and welders will install the new boiler while the distillery continues to operate, ensuring minimum disruption to the day-to-day business operations.

Gary Shepherd, managing director at James Ramsay, said: “We’ve been involved in many ground-breaking projects throughout the years, so as commercial and industrial operations look to lower their carbon emissions in line with net zero targets, we’re increasingly supporting the installation of new renewable technology as well as fuel switching strategies to help overcome the challenges they face on the journey. 

“We’re proud to be at the forefront of this innovative application of green hydrogen to support the decarbonisation of Scotland’s vitally important distilling sector.”

Many globally recognised distilleries are dotted around Scotland’s most remote locations – both on the mainland and surrounding islands – the majority are off the mains gas grid network and therefore using fossil fuel oils to generate the necessary heat for production processes. Hydrogen potentially offers a very compelling alternative fuel for producing the high-grade heat required, and there is great scope for applying this technology in the wider industry.

The Climate Change Bill commits Scotland to a target of net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 and this places a huge responsibility on Scottish companies, particularly those that burn fossil fuels as part of their operation, to think about how they will run their businesses while satisfying their climate change obligations.  

At Arbikie, the green hydrogen for the new boiler will be supplied from a 1 MW wind turbine located on its Lunan Bay farm. An electrolyser will be used to convert the renewable energy supplied by the wind turbine into hydrogen to then be used in the distillery.

Passed from generation to generation, Arbikie Highland Estate, has been farmed and managed with absolute respect for the land. The addition of a distillery reinforced this ethos and re-energised its commitment to minimising environmental impact. The word ‘sustainable’ is not just a badge for Arbikie, it is the very essence of its field to bottle operation, and at the heart of the farming practices and distillery craft. For every decision made, the team considers the environmental impact and how they can do things better.

John Stirling, Arbikie Distillery, said: “Our ethos at Arbikie from our inception has been to try and create world-class premium spirits where all ingredients are grown on our single estate farm. Minimising our carbon footprint and working with the wonderful home-grown ingredients to create one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries.

“Our mission is to set new standards in the industry with the aim to be one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries. We have already become global leaders with the creation of the world’s first climate positive spirits, Nàdar Gin and Vodka.”

Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery is a family-owned business that combines running a farm alongside the rigors of operating a modern distillery. Find out more at

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