AUSTRALIAN-BASED global malt producer, GrainCorp, will invest A$94 million to expand capacity at its United Kingdom-based business, Bairds Malt, to reflect strong sector growth and customer demand.
Baird Malt’s Arbroath plant in Scotland will be upgraded by its owner, GrainCorp.
The expansion will take Baird Malt’s annual malting capacity to more than 300,000 tonnes by adding 79,000t through upgrades to Baird Malt’s Arbroath facility, and the building of a new malting plant at Inverness.
“Bairds Malt has a long and proud history supplying high-quality malt as the primary ingredient in some of the world’s finest and best-known whiskies,” GrainCorp managing director and chief executive officer, Mark Palmquist, said.
“The new capacity will enable us to build on our strong relationships to remain a supplier of choice across the Scottish distilling industry.
“Both our Inverness and Arbroath facilities are strategically positioned close to key customers and with good barley supply.”
Mr Palmquist said the market for distilling malt in Scotland had been growing steadily since 2004, and had a long-term focus due to global demand for aged whisky.
“The number of distilleries in Scotland has increased by 29 over the past 15 years, and large distillers are expanding production capacity.
“Given these factors, we expect to underpin the majority of the new capacity ahead of construction through new or extended long-term agreements.”
GrainCorp will fund the expansion from cash flow and existing debt facilities spread across FY19-21.
The project is expected to be completed in 2021.