The last of 16 new fermenting tanks were hoisted into place at Cameronbridge Distillery last week as part of a £40m investment by owner Diageo.

The tanks will be used to make whiskies such as Bell's and are part of the company's plans to step up the efficiency and environmental performance of its distilleries.

The news comes as figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show exports of Scotch whisky hit a record high last year, earning £90 every second for the UK. Shipments rose 14% by value to £2.8bn in 2007.

"Distillers watch market developments carefully but the trends remain positive," said Paul Walsh, SWA chairman. "Mature and emerging markets performed well and Scotch whisky is growing on a sustainable basis."

Diageo pledged to invest £100m in the industry last year to meet demand in emerging markets. Refurbishment of the Cameronbridge Distillery was part of the plans.