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Operations & Management
Case Study: Glenmorangie Distillery

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“ Since starting Alpheus have developed a monthly report that gives the site clear information on how the plant is performing. This data is being used to proactively improve discharge levels and chemical usage. The continuous improvement activity looks on course to save thousands in year 1 by reducing operational costs whilst improving environmental performance. ”

Ed Thom Glenmorangie Distillery Manager

The Background

Design

The Background

One of the most iconic names in the food and drinks sector; Glenmorangie uses water from the surrounding Highlands to give its Whiskies their distinctive quality. In line with this crucial link to the landscape, the company also has an approach to their environmental responsibilities which is both visionary and sustainable.

In 2014 Glenmorangie forged an ambitious partnership with Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society known as the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP). Treated effluent from the distillery is discharged from the facility and further purified by a native European oyster reef that has been placed in the Dornoch firth.

In addition, the treatment incorporates an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) process, with green energy generated as a by-product which is returned to the distillery. This not only enhances Glenmorangie’s already strong sustainability credentials; it is an environmental first for a distillery.

The Service

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The Service

Knowing their extraordinary commitment to the environmental, and a desire for a partner with proven expertise in AD management, we presented Glenmorangie with our proposal.
We based our presentation on Alpheus’ own excellent environmental credentials and the wider company’s vast experience in operating thoroughly compliant and cost-effective anaerobic digestion plants at Ringsend, Waterford and Sligo, in Ireland and GSK, in England.

These factors, along with valuable access to our off-site teams of wastewater experts, technical support and analytical scientists, plus our ‘employee first’ ethos, aligned well with what the Glenmorangie board were looking for. We were appointed in January 2020.

The Implementation

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The Implementation

Since starting our partnership, day-to-day running of the Glenmorangie plant has improved and the distillery is making good use of our off-site expertise - including our process scientists and technical teams.

These specialist teams remotely review data from across all our sites looking for unusual trends and improvement opportunities, with the aim of maintaining 100% compliance and constantly optimising performance. The monthly plant performance reports, specifically produced for the Glenmorangie site, are used proactively by the onsite team to improve discharge levels and chemical usage. We look on course to save thousands in Year 1 alone.

Several safety audits have also been completed by engineers from Anglian Water and we’re pleased to say that compliance, permit systems, man down systems and site presentation have all improved since this took place.

During the unexpected Covid shutdown, we were again able to draw expertise from within the Anglian Water Group to help draught detailed plans for both partial and full-scale hibernation of the reactor. When Covid rules allowed, the plant restarted successfully and achieved full environmental consent within our allocated time frame. This important work now forms part of the distillery’s ongoing site crisis plan.

The Outcomes

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The Outcomes

This contract win secures a long-term commitment between Alpheus and Glenmorangie, enabling continued, sustainable value to the client. Three full-time Alpheus staff are now employed permanently onsite to keep all process’s working at peak efficiency. Plus, any additional support needed can be quickly supplied by our specialist teams offsite.

As well as the improvements already achieved, we are working on several other plant improvements including scrubber optimisation and solids removal. The expertise Alpheus can bring to projects like this will be essential in driving these plans through to completion. Our involvement also means the majority of staff at Glenmorangie can fully concentrate
on making one of the finest malt whiskies in the world.