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Cornish geothermal rum a spirited winner in Government’s Green Distillery Competition
A 100% sustainable scheme to geothermally mature and distill rum using heat generated by the UK’s first geothermal power plant, in one of the most deprived parts of the country, has won one of the biggest research and development grants awarded in the Government’s Green Distillery Competition.
The Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company’s (CGDC) Celsius® project will receive £75,000 in the first phase of government funding aimed at cutting carbon emissions in the industry and supporting new, green jobs. The award is one of the highest among 17 successful distillery projects across Scotland and England announced today as winning between £44,000 and £75,000 from the £10million initial R&D fund.
CGDC is more than two years into the research and development of its £10million, 30 job Celsius® scheme to geothermally distill and mature rum in an ultra high-tech, carbon neutral biome using heat and energy from Geothermal Engineering Limited’s (GEL) pilot power plant at United Downs in Cornwall’s historic mining heartland.
CGDC Founder Matt Clifford says, “As an ambitious, start-up distillery project, aiming to get everything sustainably right from the word go, we are overwhelmed and beyond grateful to be amongst the highest beneficiaries of the Government’s Green Distillery award: it’s an endorsement and an understanding at the very highest level of what we aim to do.
“We have poured our hearts and souls into this vision which combines our absolute passion for rum with root and branch sustainability, much-needed investment and quality full-time jobs utilising local skills and businesses in this part of Cornwall.”
The Government’s Green Distillery backing will allow eleven distillery projects across Scotland and a further six in England to kick-start green innovations, helping them harness energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen, biomass, repurposed waste – and in the Celsius® case geothermal energy - to power their operations.
The awards are part of the Government’s stated commitment to a clean, resilient recovery, working towards the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050 and comes in addition to ambitious green targets announced in the Ten Point Plan and Energy White Paper.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng says, “Building back greener from the pandemic is something we can all raise a toast to. Every business can play a part in the green industrial revolution and this funding will allow UK distilleries to lead the way by making their production cleaner while also creating jobs.”
CGDC’s outline planning application for a rum cask maturation facility and visitor centre await consideration by Cornwall Council planners for land a pipeline and cable’s distance from where GEL’s project team has drilled over 5km into ancient granite to tap the deep geothermal heat from which significant quantities of clean, renewable electricity and heat will be produced in 2022.
The initial phase would see ethically produced, Bonsucro* accredited rum distilled around the world brought to the site, laid down in oak casks made and repaired by CGDC coopers (barrel makers) and stored in the maturation biome to enhance the product’s quality and flavour.
The biome would incorporate 4 patent-pending “maturation pods”, each holding 800 X 200L casks, amounting to 640,000L of rum in total which would be tropically matured over a period of five to ten years.
CGDC’s Celsius® team hopes the rum cask maturation facility would be up and running by the late summer of 2022 - and that a demonstrable success of this “Catalyst Phase” could draw further interest and investment into the creation of a full £30million Cornish geothermal rum distillery with potential to create up to 100 jobs.
Jobs created in the Celsius® Catalyst Phase would include highly skilled Master Coopers and Master Blenders as well as offering apprenticeships to local young people. CGDC is engaging with the communities close to United Downs and aims to work with the Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site team to preserve and enhance the historic area to pay tribute to those who worked above and below this land right back to medieval times.
For more information on CGDC’s proposed rum cask maturation facility at United Downs please visit www.geothermaldistillery.com . For further details on the UK government’s Green Distillery Competition visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/green-distilleries-competition
CGDC photos, imagery and footage are all free to use with a picture credit to Grimshaw Architects and all B-Roll footage accredited to Soundview Media. The following link contains:-
- high res images, graphics and photos including CGIs of the interiors and exteriors of the proposed Geothermal Rum Cask Maturation Facility
- a CGDC B-Roll including four, brief on-site interview clips with CGDC Founder Matthew Clifford; aeriels and GVs of the surrounding land including the Ale and Cakes mine engine house; aerials (March 2020) of the United Downs Geothermal Energy site
Notes to editors
· The Green Distilleries competition supports the government’s approach for a clean, resilient recovery across the UK to support the creation of new jobs in the distillery sector.
· In the 2020 Budget, £10m was allocated to R&D to help decarbonise UK distilleries.
· More details can be found here
· The funding for the Green Distilleries competition is part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies, systems and processes in the power, buildings and industrial sectors.
List of successful phase 1 distilleries:
1. Protium Green Solutions Limited (£73,818), lead in London with a distillery partner in Islay. Using a low emission hydrogen boiler.
2. Locogen Ltd (£43,325), Edinburgh. Switching a distillery from fuel oil to hydrogen burners.
3. Protium Energy Limited (£57,464), Aberdeen. A high temperature heat store.
4. Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company (£75,000), Truro. Creating a geothermal distillery.
5. European Marine Energy Centre (£58,781), Orkney Islands. Assessing technology pathways to facilitate green hydrogen.
6. Supercritical Solutions Ltd (£53,000), lead in Horsham with a distillery partner in Glasgow. Electrolysers to enable fuel switching to zero emission sources.
7. The Uist Distilling Company Ltd (£44,572), The Isle of South Uist. Combination of a hydrogen burner and indirect heating of a thermal oil rather than steam.
8. Colorado Construction and Engineering Ltd (£73,636.80), Edinburgh. Hydrogen and dual hydrogen/biofuel burners for distilleries.
9. Vytok Ltd (£57,688.00), London. Heat pumps with water as the working fluid.
10. The Uist Distilling Company Ltd (£40,539.23), The Isle of South Uist. A high temperature heat store that would allow a distillery to be run purely on electricity.
11. John Fergus & Co Ltd (£71,812.55), Glenrothes. The use of hydrogen on site to decarbonise process heat.
12. The Edrington Group Ltd (£56,930.00), Glasgow. An innovative stillhouse Condenser Hot Water Recovery System.
13. St Andrews Brewers Limited (£51,547.00), Glasgow. A combination of heat pumps, green hydrogen and biomass.
14. Bennamann Ltd (£46,620.11), Cornwall. Use of fugitive methane as fuel.
15. Sunamp Ltd (£61,412.50), Edinburgh. A large-scale phase change material thermal store.
16. Environmental Resources Management Limited (£68,951.00), London. Liquid organic hydrogen carriers.
17. Colorado Construction and Engineering Ltd (£74,768.10), Edinburgh. The conversion of waste distillery draff and pot ale into a gasification-gas.
The Cornwall Geothermal Distillery Company:-
• Sustainability - CGDC aims to embed the triple bottom line of sustainability from the outset, balancing environmental, social and financial elements across their operations. In other words they will put their people and the planet on a level with profit.
• *Bonsucro is an international not for-profit, multi-stake-holder governance group established in 2008 to promote sustainable sugar cane. Its stated aim is to reduce 'the environmental and social impacts of sugarcane production while recognising the need for economic viability'
• Geothermal Energy – CGDC would be using geothermal “hot rocks” power and waste heat from the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project operated by Geothermal Energy Limited – see www.geothermalengineering.co.uk/united downs/
• Environment – the CGDC site will be quiet, emission-free and carbon neutral. Rum maturation is a virtually silent process. All vehicles used for CGDC business will be electric with chargers on site and there will be staff incentives on electric vehicles and car sharing.
• Job opportunities – include Blenders, Mixologists and Coopers (barrel makers) with associated apprenticeships, gardeners and landscapers, security, marketing, community engagement, catering, admin and finance. CGDC will invest in our people in terms of training and job progression. CGDC will be a living wage employer – and will not be employing people on zero-hour contracts.
• Visitors - CGDC envisages attracting interest in its “Catalyst Phase” rum cask maturation facility from around 10,000 visitors a year.
• Design – Please find a Design Statement by Grimshaw Architects attached, along with a copy of this news release.
Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company (CGDC) – Matthew Clifford – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01872 492052
CGDC Community Engagement – Mary Russell - email@example.com - 01872 492052
Media enquiries – Louise Midgley Communications – 07831 696093 – firstname.lastname@example.org