£4m low carbon project for firm

Mac Mackie and Gerry Stephens celebrate the project at Mackie's of Scotland's Westertown Farm
Mac Mackie and Gerry Stephens celebrate the project at Mackie's of Scotland's Westertown Farm

A north east firm is installing a new refrigeration system set to be one of the most sophisticated in Europe.

Mackie’s of Scotland will replace its existing freezing equipment with low carbon, power efficient units run on ammonia - a natural refrigerant gas that poses no threat to the environment.

The £4million project is being carried out at the firm’s Westertown Farm near Rothienorman.

The innovative combined solution will cool Mackie’s ice cream with heat from a biomass boiler, powered by a sustainable energy source.

The £4 million project is being brought to life thanks to a grant from the Scottish Government Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, match funded by Mackie’s through a loan from Bank of Scotland.

The investment will be open as a demonstrator project in the hope that its success will inspire other Scottish fish, meat and dairy food manufacturers to adopt similar energy-efficient technology.

Commenting Gerry Stephens, Finance Director at Mackie’s of Scotland, said: “Our ultimate aim is to one day go completely off-grid and use 100% renewable energy. This is an important step towards realising these green ambitions.

“We’re very excited about this project as, the technologies involved are tried-and-tested methods but have not been commonly combined to produce a low-carbon, low-energy solution for cold store refrigeration.

“With Bank of Scotland’s support we are realising our green ambitions and, in the long run, we hope that our new system will set a precedent and make the energy-intensive food and drink sector more sustainable.”