Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Angus Dundee are making a joint investment in a new gas pipeline linking four of their Speyside distilleries to Scotland’s main gas network. 

The 16-mile pipeline, due to be completed by summer 2014, will link distilleries at The Glenlivet (Pernod's Chivas Brothers), Tormore (Chivas), Cragganmore (Diageo) and Tomintoul (Angus Dundee) with the gas network.

It is designed to end the distilleries’ reliance on heavy fuel oil and tanker deliveries. 

In a joint statement, the three companies said: “These distilleries were founded before the advent of gas as an energy source and their distant locations were often chosen for a bounteous supply of fresh spring water above all else. 

“It is a very positive move to bring them online with the main gas network which will bring environmental and economic benefits to all distillers concerned.”

Contractors Fulcrum said it was a "multi-million pound" contract, while local reports claim that GBP7.6m (US$12.2m) is going into the pipeline.

Richard Atkinson, Fulcrum's sales & marketing director said that it is “increasingly economical for companies outside the main gas network to make this kind of investment”. 

The company said it is in discussions with “several other Scotch whisky distillers” interested in funding new gas connection pipelines, either as part of a consortium or individually.