Airdrie-based Inver House Distillers' announcement of investment to support growth in sales of its Speyburn single malt, made yesterday, follows moves by industry majors including Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Edrington to increase their capacity in anticipation of continued strong growth in Scotch whisky exports.
The investment in the Speyburn distillery near Rothes on Speyside, which is due to be completed by the end of 2014, will increase its annual production capacity from 1.8 million litres to more than four million litres.
Inver House is a subsidiary of International Beverage Holdings, which was established in 2005 as the international arm of major south-east Asian alcoholic beverage company ThaiBev.
Singapore-listed ThaiBev is controlled by entrepreneur Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and its brands include Chang beer and Thai spirit Mekhong.
The investment in Speyburn is aimed at allowing the business to lay down stock for predicted future growth in both established and emerging markets.
Inver House, which also produces the Old Pulteney and Balblair single malts and the Hankey Bannister blend, signalled this was the "first phase" of investment in capacity.
Graham Stevenson, managing director of Inver House Distillers, said: "As we continue to be very optimistic about the long-term potential for Scotch whisky, particularly in the emerging Bric (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), African and south-east Asian economies, investment in our production capabilities is crucial.
"Having the infrastructure in place to produce our high-quality whiskies in greater quantities will be key to the future success of our brands, so we are delighted to see the first phase of this major programme of work get under way at Speyburn Distillery."