• MySTV

Prince of Wales opens biomass plant and whisky bottling centre

Locals thrilled to meet Prince as he toured Helius Corde plant and new Glen Grant distillery centre.

Still game: Researchers tried out the test on 17 samples.

The Prince of Wales brought his environmental and whisky interests together as he opened a biomass plant and a whisky bottling centre at a 173-year-old distillery on Tuesday.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was at Glen Grant distillery and the Helius Corde plant in Rothes, Moray at the start of a three-day visit to the north of Scotland.

He met staff and toured the distillery to see how the whisky is matured and bottled.

Wearing a Stuart Hunting kilt and green tweed jacket, Charles unveiled a plaque on a pyramid of whisky barrels outside the distillery and quipped: "Is this the emergency supply?"

The new bottling plant produces 2000 bottles an hour, which are mainly exported to mainland Europe and Asia.

Glen Grant managing director Dennis Malcolm said Charles's visit is the first by a member of the royal family in around 50 years.

"Our last royal visit was by Princess Margaret in 1959 so it was nice to have another member of the family up today to mark the new site," he said.

"The Prince is certainly a big whisky fan and I think he asked more questions about the bottling hall than I've done. He wanted to know how many bottles we can produce in an hour, what we do if it breaks down and where all the bottles go."

At the end of the tour Charles chatted with children from the nearby Rothes primary and nursery school.

Senior nursery nurse May Wilson said the children watched a video earlier in the day, just to make sure they recognise him.

"Most of the nursery children only know about princes from fairytales, so this is a first to actually meet a royal and they loved it," she said.

"He asked them if they enjoyed their Easter holidays and joked that they will all have to wait a long time before they can try whisky."

Earlier in the day Charles had a tour and opened the new Helius Corde heat and power biomass plant, designed to recycle the waste created from making whisky.

It takes pot ale and draff by-product from 12 distilleries around Speyside and recycles it as animal feed. It also creates electricity by burning draff and woodchip.

Operators say it will generate 8.32MW of electricity every year which will be sent back to the National Grid, enough to power 9000 homes.

Alan Lyons, chairman of Helius Corde, said: "The Prince was very much into the fact that we're using recycled woodchip and with our environmental credentials as we aim to maintain low C02 levels. It was a delight to have him here and he really took time to speak to all the workers and showed an interest in what they do and the whole process of the plant."

During the visit to the neighbouring Rothes businesses, Charles was accompanied by Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt, who organised the tour.

Mr Hewitt said: "It's been an excellent day and the opening of these new sites shows the strength of the industry, and is great for Rothes and Speyside.

"I was asked to suggest opportunities for a royal visit and I thought this was the ideal site as it has an environmental aspect as well as the traditional whisky making. I knew Prince Charles had a great interest in both those areas and he was particularly impressed by the Helius plant and was fascinated by how it worked.

"He thoroughly enjoyed his visit and always likes to show his support for this particular Scottish industry.

"There were a couple of bottles given to him, one at each site, and I could see the delight in his eye and no doubt he'll add it to his cabinet and can enjoy a wee dram when he puts his feet up later."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.