Dalkia Utilities


Diageo’s distillery at Cameronbridge is the largest in Scotland – and with the commissioning of their new bio-energy facility, they believe it will also be one of the most environmentally sustainable in the world.

Cameronbridge distils some of the world’s most famous spirits – including grain whisky for Johnnie Walker and Bell’s whiskies, Smirnoff vodka, and Tanqueray and Gordon’s gins


Dalkia was contracted by Diageo Distilling Ltd to build a new bio-energy plant to provide additional power and steam at its Cameronbridge Distillery, which processes 4,000 tonnes of grain every week.


Dalkia appointed Portasilo to provide the extensive storage and handling systems required to transfer five different biomass materials, all by-products of the distilling process, around the plant.

The principal biomass material is spent wash – a mixture of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water. This is collected from ten belt press outlets and transferred by belt conveyors, bucket elevators and screw conveyors to one of four boiler-feed silos. If the boiler is unable to take the feed, a divert system conveys the biomass into one of two 178m3-capacity stainless steel silos. These are mounted onto a structure that allows vehicles to be positioned underneath for loading. Multi-screw dischargers feed the material either into the tankers below or back into the boiler feed system.

Biosolids in the form of sludge are also collected from the belt presses and pumped into a 55m3-capacity stainless steel silo, mounted alongside the two other biomass silos. This material can similarly be discharged into tankers or into the boiler feed system.

Draff is tipped from delivery vehicles into a progressive cavity pump. The moist material is then discharged at a controlled rate into the conveyors feeding the boiler house.

Dust and chaff is collected in 1m3 bags and delivered to the boiler house, where a big-bag discharge system empties it into hoppers. This explosive material requires a discharge and handling system designed to meet ATEX regulations. The hoppers discharge via a screw feeder into a volumetric feeder, which delivers a controlled flow of dust and chaff into a vacuum system serving the boiler house.

Finally, wet charcoal is delivered to the boiler house in one-tonne tipper skips. An open-topped reception hopper fitted with twin screw dischargers transfers the charcoal into the inlet hopper of a progressive cavity pump, which feeds the boiler system.

Due to the moist, cohesive nature of the materials, all silos were flat bottomed with square outlets and fitted with multi-screw dischargers. These ‘live-bottomed’ silos ensure that material is emptied from the silos effectively, with none of the clogging that can occur at the bottleneck of conical silos.

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