A HISTORIC malting company is to increase its capacity in Scotland by 50 per cent in £12 million expansion plans.

Boortmalt said the investment to expand its malting facility in Buckie, Morayshire, will support the growing demand for malt in whisky distilling and brewing.

Belgian-based Boortmalt operates in the UK as Pauls Malt, based in Bury St Edmunds, East Anglia, which is described as one of the oldest malting family businesses in the UK dating back to the 19th century.

It has run its malting facility in Buckie since 1974 and employs 24 at the Scottish site, where it sources barley and sells its product locally, with the majority of its malt being delivered into Speyside.

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Boortmalt recently announced a new long-term supply agreement to buy malting barley direct from the Banff and Moray Grain Group. Under the agreement, Boortmalt will contract directly with the group to assure supply to its maltings in Buckie.

Charles Tozer, general manager UK and Ireland at Boortmalt, said: “We pride ourselves on working alongside each distiller and brewer to offer them the malt they need for style of beer or whisky. We are excited for what the future holds after significantly expanding our production capacity.”

Yvan Schaepman, chief executive of Boortmalt Group, said: “This significant investment into our malting facilities in Buckie is a signal of our confidence in the future of the market and recent performance of our customer base. The new capacity will allow us to increase production and do so in a more sustainable manner.”

The investment will also positively impact Boortmalt’s sustainability credentials with increased capacity reducing the distance malt and barley will be transported, helping to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. A new, modern kiln brings its own benefits to energy efficiency with more economical burner technology being installed.

Boortmalt says it is a world-leading malting company with three million tonnes of production capacity. The group is present on five continents with 27 malting plants and it is claimed “Boortmalt’s expertise is widely acknowledged by brewers and distillers who rely on the supply of top-quality barley malt”.

The Buckie expansion is already under way and scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2021.