THE Scotch whisky industry has welcomed its latest addition following the opening of the Ardnamurchan Distillery in Argyll.

The multi-million-pound project has been launched by Adelphi Distillery, which in its current incarnation has been bottling rare single malts for more than 20 years.

Its arrival marks a return to distilling for the Adelphi name, which in its original guise built a distillery in the heart of Glasgow in 1826.

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The new distillery has been backed by a £1.77 million food processing, marketing and co-operation grant from the Scottish Government, as well as £625,452 of capital funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It will be powered by renewable energy, using a boiler fuelled by locally sourced woodchip, and produces its spirit from barley grown and malted in Scotland.

The opening has been hailed as an economic boost for the Ardnamurchan peninsula, bringing jobs and attracting tourists who visit Scotland for its whisky trail.

The by-products from the distillation process will be used to feed livestock and fertilise land.

Adelphi plans to use the spirit to market its own single malt whisky brand.

Alex Bruce, sales and marketing director at ­Adelphi Distillery, said: "The opening of the Ardnamurchan Distillery is a major step in Adelphi's development.

"We have spent the last 11 years concentrating on building up our brand and we now have an outstanding distribution network in place across the world.

"For the first time in over 105 years, we now have the ability to produce our own world-class single malt."

Ardnamurchan, officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, is the first new Scotch whisky distillery to open in Scotland this year.

The Scotch Whisky Association said plans have been lodged to build as many as 30 new distilleries in Scotland.