China’s Mengtai Group imports entire distillery from Scotland to create “globally award-winning whisky”

CHINA – The Mengtai Group, One of Inner Mongolia’s largest private firms with vast interests in coal production and electricity generation, is importing an entire whisky distillery from Scotland to China. 

According to a report by the BBC, more than 35 tonnes of equipment, including stills, flooring, control valves, and pipework, are leaving Buckie in Moray for the port of Tianjin. 

On arrival, the equipment part of a £3m “design and build” deal signed between Forfar firm Valentine International and China’s Mengtai Group in 2019 will be assembled at a facility being built in Inner Mongolia. 

The facility in Ordos – a city of more than 2 million people- will become Inner Mongolia’s first whisky distillery when it opens, probably at the end of this year. 

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

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”. 

“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,” Mr. Valentine added. 

Its been slightly over 2 years since the contract was signed during an event organized by the Scotland Chamber of Commerce and attended by high level delegation from the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Government. 

“We have so much to learn from the Scottish whisky industry – the cultural and historic “Home of Whisky’, said  Richard Lin Lu, a senior UK-based representative of the MengTai Group 

“So, we hope not just to bring the best Scotch Whisky production and technology to China, we also aim to bring Scotland’s profound and unique whisky culture to the Chinese consumer, especially the younger generation” 

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Project contractor Forsyths has built a reputation for itself as a leader in distillery construction, delivering a range of projects, from small right through to the design and build of full turnkey distilleries. 

“In our view, there was never any contest. Forsyths is the first-choice supplier and leading-edge manufacturer of distillery equipment anywhere in the world,” said Valentine. 

Forsyths has current contracts in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Caribbean, Mexico, Thailand, Wales, Ireland, England, and America as well as carrying out its biggest contract to date – the new Macallan Distillery in Speyside, Scotland.  

Other standout projects for the company include Clydeside in Glasgow, Lindores Abbey distillery, Glenwyvis distillery, Balcones distillery in Texas, Red Bull Thailand, Yamazaki in Japan, and the English Whisky Co. 

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