Australian Whisky Holdings (AWH) has detailed plans to increase production at the Nant Whisky Estate, which it now fully owns.
AWH took control of Nant last year following a long-running and often bitter dispute with former owner Keith Batt last year. But having secured 100 per cent ownership of the distillery and brand assets, AWH has now revealed its plans for expansion.
At present the Nant distillery produces eight, 100-litre barrels of single malt whisky per week, or around 400 barrels per year. The expanding production plans will see that output increase by around 75 per cent in its first phase, with that subsequently doubling in the second phase.
In a statement AWH said: [AWH] intends to utilise the current Nant infrastructure with minor reconfiguration of the existing stills to improve efficiency and increase production to 14, 100-litre barrels per week or approximately 700 barrels per year.
“The expansion should take approximately three to four months and add significantly to Nant inventory from FY19 onwards.”
The group added that the estimated capital expenditure required to complete the productions expansion will be between $450,000 and $500,000.
AWH added: “The second stage of the planned expansion involves the construction of an additional distillery on the site at the Nant Estate. [AWH] has already acquired two additional stills which were built in Scotland to a replica of the existing still on site.
“Once commissioned this will enable [AWH] to operate distilling 24 hours a day in three eight-hour shifts. Assuming operations over a five-day week, production can be increased to 30, 100-litre barrels per week, or 1500 barrels per year.
“Subject to future sales,” the group added, “[AWH] will have the flexibility to operate over a seven-day week and increase production to 42, 100-litre barrels per week.”
The group said that while the final costs and timings for the second stage of expansion are still being assessed, the AWH board has projected an approximate cost of $2.5m.
This move comes at a busy time for AWH, after TheShout reported last week that the group has initiated plans to buy out the remaining shares of the Lark Distillery that it doesn’t currently own.