PLANNING PERMISSION has been secured from Falkirk Council to build a commercial demonstrator plant to produce biofuel from whisky residue.

The company has established a new PLC – Celtic Renewables Grangemouth – specifically to deliver this plant in Grangemouth and launched a funding campaign seeking to raise £5.25million through an ISA eligible investment with Abundance Investment.

Abundance managing Director Bruce Davis commented: “We champion renewable projects across the UK and Celtic Renewables absolutely fits this remit. The new demonstrator plant is an exciting step forward for biotechnology innovation for the UK. It is a win-win for our investors seeking to diversify their investments in the transition to a clean growth economy.”

The two-acre site will produce Biobutanol, an advanced biofuel, made using whisky residue, that is a direct replacement for petrol and diesel. Used in a car for the first time in July 2017, Celtic Renewables are emphatic that it is set to revolutionise sustainable transport.

Company founder Professor Martin Tangney said: “This is a very exciting time for biotechnology in Scotland. Our plant, which will use entirely sustainable raw materials to make high value low carbon products, will be the first of its kind in the world. It will shine a global spotlight on innovation in Scotland in the low carbon economy.”

Speaking about the new site, Celtic Renewables CEO Mark Simmers, said: “This is a huge step forward for Celtic Renewables as this demonstration plant will enable the roll out of the technology at full industrial scale across Scotland and internationally. Grangemouth is the perfect location for the plant, where we can benefit from the synergies of locating within the national petrochemical hub and work with a range of complementary partners with the full support of local and national Government agencies.”

Leader of Falkirk Council, Cecil Meiklejohn, said: “Celtic Renewables choosing Grangemouth as the location for such an innovative facility is further proof that the Falkirk area is the prime location for Chemical Sciences development in this country and strengthens our imminent bid for growth deal funding to position Falkirk as the manufacturing and innovation hub for Scotland.”

Working closely with Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire, Celtic Renewables is helping to derive value from the production residues of the Malt Whisky industry in Scotland which currently produces almost 750,000 tonnes of draff and two billion litres of pot ale. With planning permissions now in place, building of the commercial demonstrator plant is due to begin in early 2018.