Beam Suntory is investing over $400 million to expand production at its Boston, Ky, Booker Noe distillery, which produces Jim Beam. The project will increase the site’s capacity by 50%. Its greenhouse gas emissions also will be cut by 50%.
Sustainability features include using anaerobic digestors that will produce renewable natural gas to power, investing in high-efficiency gas boilers to make maximum use of renewable natural gas, and using scrubbing technology to remove carbon dioxide from fermentation tanks, which, following a purification process, will facilitate the reuse of more than 100,000 metric tons of high-purity carbon dioxide annually.
Beam Suntory has entered into an agreement with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across the street to convert spent stillage into biogas, which will be treated to renewable natural gas standards and piped directly back to the Booker Noe facility. The digestors will also produce a high-quality, low-cost fertilizer, which will be made available to local farmers.
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Expected to be complete in 2024, the project will allow the Booker Noe distillery to be 65% powered by renewable natural gas and 35% by fossil-based natural gas. The investment also includes land and warehouses, and is projected to create 51 new jobs.
“We are committed to making a difference by investing in cleaner technologies and systems, and the expansion and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from this project does just that with our biggest brand,” says Beam Suntory president and CEO Albert Baladi. “This expansion will help ensure we meet future demand for our iconic bourbon in a sustainable way that supports the environment and the local community that has helped build and support Jim Beam.”