Detailed plans for the first new major distillery to be built in Scotland in three decades have been lodged with Moray Council.
The distillery could create about 25 jobs in the area
Drinks company Diageo has lodged the planning application to build a new malt distillery at Roseisle.
The £40m facility would be at a site where Diageo already operates a major maltings facility.
If approved, construction is expected to begin this year with the distillery opening in early 2009.
It is expected that the facility, situated between Elgin and Forres, could create about 25 new jobs in the area.
Bryan Donaghey, managing director of Diageo Scotland, said: "This substantial investment in Moray underpins our commitment to the area and to Scotland as a whole.
"With this new state-of-the-art distillery we aim to meet demand well into the future - a good deal for the local area, the Scotch whisky industry and the Scottish economy."
Moray SNP MP Angus Robertson said: "Diageo's announcement that they have lodged an application for a new distillery is great news for the whisky industry and demonstrates the potential for growth in Moray's economy."