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Valentine International Secures Distillery Export Deal

An Angus firm that is in charge of delivering a new whisky distillery in Inner Mongolia has awarded a multi-million pound export contract to a Scottish firm.

Forfar-based Valentine International Business Connections, owned by Dave Valentine, has a lucrative “design and build” contract for the distillery that will be constructed in Ordos for Chinese firm MengTai.

Mr Valentine, who also owns Simpsons Golf Shop in Carnoustie, said the overall project cost will be in excess of £3 million.

A contract to supply the stills and associated machinery has been awarded to Rothes-based fabrication group, Forsyths.

He said: “The copper stills, which are still beaten by hand, along with all of the machinery required to make a premium whisky will be constructed in modular form in Scotland.

“This has the benefit of allowing construction and testing in a controlled and safe environment before the system is disassembled, packed into containers and shipped to Ordos.

“The modular system also means that significant savings to the client are achieved by drastically reducing assembly times on location and it is hoped the facility will be producing spirit by next November.”

The export contract is described as being a “multi-million” pound deal.

The MengTai Group is ranked sixth in the top private companies in Inner Mongolia with a workforce of more than 4,000 and interests in energy, e-commerce and financial services.

With the distillery, it is aiming to produce a whisky that is not only the best in the region, but one that is globally recognised for quality.

Richard Lin Lu, a senior UK-based representative of the MengTai Group, said: “Despite the difficulties in these novel and trying times, we are working closely with Forsyths to avoid delay caused by the virus.

“We have so much to learn from the Scottish whisky industry – the cultural and historic ‘home of whisky’.

“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.”

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce, which hosted a high level delegation from the Inner Mongolian government in May last year, welcomed the progress.

Chief executive Dr Liz Cameron, said: “This is a fantastic development especially in the current global economic crisis we are all facing.

“It confirms that opportunities do exist and we look forward to building on this fantastic trade relationship as we move forward to rebuild our economy”.

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