A new whisky distillery will set sail for China next week bound for Inner Mongolia. A total of 16 containers and 5 wooden crates will leave Buckie (Morayshire) for the Chinese port of Tianjin before arriving at their final destination in Ordos (Inner Mongolia), situated around 350 miles due west of Beijing in the People’s Republic of China.
The project was announced in December 2019 when David Valentine MBE, Managing Director of Valentine International Business Connections, signed a contract in London to procure the distillery on behalf of the Inner Mongolia MengTai Group, one of the region’s top 3 companies. The original plan had been to have the new distillery producing it’s first batch of malt whisky by the end of 2020. The COVID19 pandemic created unforeseen logistical problems but Valentine announced today that the project is back on track for completion at the end of 2021.
“Building a distillery in Inner Mongolia is the brainchild of MengTai’s Chairman Mr Ao FengTing whose ambition is to create China’s best and globally award-winning whisky. His aim is not just to produce China’s best quality whisky but one that is globally recognised in terms of world rankings. Scotland is the “home of whisky” and has the greatest expertise in terms of distillery equipment manufacture which is why he believes we will deliver a world beating project for him in Ordos”
MengTai have already begun construction of the distillery buildings and ancillary accommodation and are making preparations to assemble the equipment on site with supervision from a team of five engineers from Forsyths. Timing of the commissioning will depend on travel regulations governing quarantine.
“We contracted Forsyths of Rothes in Morayshire for the design & build of the distillery production equipment. As a fourth generation company, Forsyths have built over 300 projects around the world and are unrivalled in the manufacture of complete distillery systems. The added bonus is the method of assembly that Forsyths have pioneered by building up the equipment on modular “skid” units for testing in Buckie prior to disassembly and shipping. This method saves on costs and eliminates potential problems during commissioning. Forsyths also have a team in Hong Kong to provide after sales back up and services.”
“I’m delighted the project is delivering a multi million-pound export bonus for Scottish companies. In addition to the £3m export of distillery equipment and related services, we have signed off a strategic agreement with a long established whisky distiller for the supply of bulk whiskies. We are also making steady progress and are now at the stage of deciding flavouring and branding prior to production and maturation. As the project progresses, I will be recruiting skilled industry experts to oversee the operation especially during the initial phases of the development”.
Richard E Forsyth, Managing Director of Forsyths added:
“We are hugely honoured that the Chairman of the Inner Mongolia MengTai Group has entrusted Forsyths to deliver this prestigious new distillery. It is the first project that our company has won in this province and we look forward to repaying that faith with a first class distillery capable of producing high quality premium malt whisky.”
Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“It is tremendous to see this exciting opportunity come to fruition and showcase the value of forging business relationships with partners across the globe. It demonstrates that Scotland has world renowned industries attractive to investors and, with the right framework, is ready to take advantage of new trading opportunities.
“We look forward to supporting the development of the business relationship between the two countries.”
Valentine International Business Connections LLP (VIBC) has established a mature network of high-level business connections in a number of cities throughout China. Strong personal relationships have been forged with key government officials; business groups; golf networks and companies at local and national level in China and the UK.