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To meet increased demand V&S Absolut Spirits is inaugurating one of the most modern, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly distilleries in the world in Nbbelv, just outside Åhus. The new distillery is the result of a decision taken in 1999 by the board of directors of V&S Group to invest 320 million Swedish kronor.

In 1999, the year V&S Group made the investment decision, 60 million liters of ABSOLUT VODKA were sold. Last year, more ABSOLUT VODKA from hus was sold than ever before. Sales of ABSOLUT VODKA rose with five percent to 76.1 million liters. The first quarter of 2005 is pointing in the same direction. Sales for V&S Absolut Spirits, which includes ABSOLUT VODKA and Level Vodka, rose eight percent the first three months this year.

Were increasing capacity to meet the increased demand from around the world for ABSOLUT. With the new distillery in Nbbelv were increasing our capacity from todays level of 87.5 million liters to 125 million liters of vodka a year. Because of this, our needs are also increasing for winter wheat from the local farmers in Skne, the southern province of Sweden, says Ketil Eriksen, President for the V&S Absolut Spirits business area.

When the new plant is fully operational V&S Absolut Spirits will need more winter wheat, from todays 12.5 tons to 18 tons per hour, which is equivalent to 10-15 percent of the entire wheat harvest in Skne. Capacity will also increase from 100 million bottles a year today to 143 million, or from 3 to 4.5 bottles/second. The final production will continue to take place in Åhus.

The more ABSOLUT that is produced, the more cows and pigs can feed on stillage, a byproduct of the manufacturing process that is used to make animal feed. The stillage from V&S Absolut Spirits is both nutritious and environmentally friendly and today it feeds 35,000 cows and 100,000 pigs in Skne every day. To facilitate removal of the stillage, a new drying plant has also been built. Drying the stillage enables it to be stored for longer periods and transported longer distances.

Our new distillery in Nbbelv is one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly distilleries in the world. We were able to reduce energy consumption per liter of vodka by installing a heat pump that recycles energy. In our new plant, energy consumption is reduced by 20 percent for every bottle of ABSOLUT, says Mikael Runeson, responsible for the distillery in Nbbelv.

For more information, please visit Absolut.com.