Now, in this construction phase, which launched with a ceremonial groundbreaking on May 6, 2009 Veolia Water, through its US businesses of Biothane and N.A. Water Systems, will implement its designs and proceed with the construction of a treatment plant with capacity to process about 150 million gallons of washwater annually.

The Veolia Water’s washwater treatment process will take by-products from the distillation process and turn them into clean water and biogas for green energy. This process enables Diageo to recycle water, provide a clean source of energy to its distillery, and create a rich fertilizer that can be used by public/private organizations. Diageo is already in talks with organizations that are interested in using the fertilizer.

The Diageo USVI rum distillery will be constructed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles. Some of the 21st century ecological and environmental controls incorporated into the design include a closed-loop water system that will eliminate the need for any washwater disposal into the nearby Caribbean Sea. The company is also incorporating organic solids reclamation and storm water best management practices into its construction plans and its daily operation.

Veolia was a reliable and highly-valued contractor for us in the preliminary design and engineering phase of the rum distillery project, accommodating our need to design an environmentally sound washwater treatment facility, said Dan Kirby, vice president of supply for Diageo. We look forward to the development and completion of our washwater facility.

It’s been a real pleasure working with the Diageo USVI Team. It’s enjoyable to participate in a project with an environmentally conscientious customer, that’s willing to go the extra mile to be a good neighbor, and also improve the surrounding area, stated Denise Johnston of Veolia Water. Diageo’s approach to projects is based in collaboration. Their practices foster outstanding communication among all of the suppliers which will result in an on-time and efficient project.

The Diageo distillery project is part of a public-private initiative with the USVI Government for the construction and operation of a high-capacity distillery. This 30-year commitment will provide a economic stimulus for the entire Territory of the USVI. Once in operation in 2010, the distillery will have the capacity to distill up to 20 million proof gallons of Captain Morgan rum per year and is expected to generate an estimated $100 million in new tax revenue for the Virgin Islands Government.

During the construction phase of the project, Diageo USVI estimates that its project contractors, including Veolia Water, will create 200-300 construction-related jobs. Once the distillery is complete, Diageo USVI will create up to 70 jobs. Diageo USVI and its contractors will post all positions with the USVI Department of Labor.

Diageo is a UK-based company engaged in the drinks business with a collection of international brands.