Diageo to expand Scotch whisky capacity

Diageo to expand Scotch whisky capacity

Diageo is to expand its Scotch whisky production capacity as part of a GBP20m (US$31.8m) investment in its facilities.

Diageo will spend around GBP10m to expand production at its existing distilleries in the Speyside region of Scotland over the next three years. The group said that its investment will expand total production capacity by 10m litres of spirit alcohol per year, which is equivalent to the capacity of its recently-opened Roseisle distillery.

The move comes as Scotch whisky is enjoying growing demand around the world. In 2010, Scotch whisky exports rose by 10% in value to reach GBP3.45bn for the first time, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

"Scotch whisky has never been more popular around the world," said Diageo's malt distilling director, Brian Higgs.

"This announcement is another demonstration of our confidence in and commitment to the future of Scotland and Scotch," said the Johnnie Walker distiller's MD for Scotland, Bryan Donaghey. "Over the past six financial years, Diageo has invested around GBP600m in its business in Scotland."

In addition to the GBP10m capacity investment, Diageo said that it plans to spend GBP9.5m to upgrade an existing bio-plant at its Dailuaine distillery complex in Speyside. The company has submitted a planning application to the local council.