Entire whisky distillery ships out to China

image copyrightValentine Internationalimage captionThe equipment destined for China was built by specialist firm Forsyths

An entire whisky distillery is being shipped out from Scotland to China on Friday.

More than 35 tonnes of equipment, including stills, flooring, control valves and pipework, is leaving Buckie in Moray for the port of Tianjin.

The equipment will be assembled at a facility being built in Inner Mongolia.

The shipment is part of a £3m "design and build" deal signed between Forfar firm Valentine International and China's Mengtai Group in 2019.

The facility in Ordos will become Inner Mongolia's first whisky distillery when it opens, probably at the end of this year.

All of the distillery equipment was built by Rothes-based firm Forsyths, which is sending a team of five engineers to supervise assembly.

Forsyths have a team in Hong Kong to provide after-sales back-up and services.

Valentine International chairman and managing director David Valentine said the project was the brainchild of Mengtai chairman Ao Fengting, who planned to create a "globally award-winning whisky".

image copyrightValentine Internationalimage captionThe equipment destined for China was built by specialist firm Forsyths

Mr Valentine, who specialises in establishing commercial ventures in China, said: "Scotland is the home of whisky and has the greatest expertise in terms of distillery equipment manufacture, which is why Mr Fengting believes we will deliver a world-beating project for him in Ordos."

It is Mengtai's first venture into the world of whisky. One of Inner Mongolia's largest private firms, its core businesses include coal production and electricity generation.

image copyrightValentine Internationalimage captionThe £3m deal between Mengtai Group and Valentine was signed two years ago

In a separate development, Valentine International has signed a "strategic agreement" with Mengtai to supply bulk whiskies for China.

Mr Valentine declined to name the whisky distiller in that deal but said it was a "long-established" firm.

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