The Glenmorangie CompanyTain, Scotland
Since starting, Alpheus has exceeded our best expectations as a partner in running our AD plant…gas production has increased by nearly 5% per month, and they have improved our filtration system. They constantly look to reduce chemical usage, so we’ve removed the entire chemical usage for the digestate removal from the reactor. So we no longer use any acid or polymer in our by-product disposal…and now have a far more efficient system that works for the farmers in the local area who take our digestate to fertilise the fields. Edward Thom, Glenmorangie Distillery Manager
In 2014 Glenmorangie forged an ambitious partnership with Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society known as the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP). Waste effluent from the distillery is treated by the on-site treatment plant and discharged into the Dornoch Firth where it is further purified by a native European oyster reef.
In addition, the treatment incorporates an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) process. Valuable green energy generated and returned to the distillery. This enhances Glenmorangie’s already strong sustainability credentials and it was an environmental first for a distillery.
Glenmorangie sought a partner with proven expertise in AD Management who could help them ensure their ambitious sustainability targets could be met, whilst improving the efficiency and performance of the waste managed and AD plant. They wanted to work with a partner who offered a strong emphasis on safety, people, value, optimisation, efficiency and partnership.
Alpheus committed to deliver:
- Improved environmental performance.
- Significant reductions in operational costs.
- Significantly increased biogas quality and yield.
- Significant reduction in risk and assurance of compliance.
- Well planned and resourced transition to eliminate disruption and risk.
- High quality operation and maintenance of their wastewater and AD plant.
- Optimising and improving plant operation and processes.
- Committing to retain, train and develop existing team to add value and reduce risk.
Operations and Maintenance Services Provided
Alpheus was selected partly due to our 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 Scotland. However, what cinched the deal was the valuable access to our off-site teams of wastewater experts, technical support and analytical scientists, our ‘employee first’ ethos and open and transparent approach, which aligned with Glenmorangie’s values and aspirations for the plant.
Three full-time Alpheus staff are permanently employed onsite to keep all processes working at peak efficiency with additional support from our offsite specialists, leaving the Glenmorangie team to concentrate on making one of the finest malt whiskies in the world!
- A smooth and positive transition and integration of the existing Operations team to Alpheus, with no downtime.
- Fostering an employee first and safety culture.
- A comprehensive plant and process safety management plan to reduce risk.
- Continuous improvement cycle process for asset management for improved reliability and performance.
- Ongoing innovation and optimisation as part of our operating philosophy, which included the hibernation and restart of the AD plant in response to the COVID lockdown, and monthly plant performance reports used proactively by the onsite team to improve discharge levels and chemical usage.
- Alpheus have helped Glenmorangie maximise the efficiency of their anaerobic digester. From April 2022 to March 2023, this produced over 9.7 million KWH of energy.
- Biogas production has increased by nearly a third since Alpheus has been managing the plant, from supplying around 15% of energy needs to nearly 20%.
- As a result of the successful hibernation in lockdown, we heavily reduced their carbon emissions on operations, waste disposal and feedstock transportation during this time.
- Through plant optimisation we have saved Glenmorangie in the region of £80k per year on reduction in chemical use.
- Average reduction in energy consumption by approximately 1500kWh per day following optimisation of assets and treatment processes on site.
- Over £100k saved during the hibernation of AD during the Covid lockdown which was high risk but successfully planned and executed by our specialist team. Read the Hibernation and reactivation case study here.
- This plant consistently achieves 98% Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal.
- Compliance, permit systems, man-down systems and site presentation have all improved since due to a number of new processes have been implemented to ensure a safety-first culture and reduce risk.
- 100% compliance throughout the hibernation and re-start as a result of detailed planning and specialist capabilities within Alpheus and Anglian Water, despite this being a first for the site. The full plans for partial and full-scale hibernation of the reactor now form part of their site crisis plan.