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Report - Padeswood Cement Kiln, Mold - September 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by tweek, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
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    Padeswood Cement Kiln, Mold - September 2012

    Visited with Bigjobs, Gone, Millhouse and Suboffender

    Got wind of a plot to visit the kiln building and couldn't resist gatecrashing the party. It's been a while since I've done a live site and these things are often a lot quieter than you might think and not actually that difficult. Having successfully navigated some cows and a three-foot fence we were on site and looking for a way to the base of the kiln. After about a minute, we reached a staircase and that was that. We spent a good hour or so atop the roof - trying to take pictures was a challenge with the glow of the red lights. After a giggle or two we made our way down the stairs again. We were planning on having more of a look around, but with a slightly increased amount of vehicles and workers on site we decided to give it a miss and go climb a local 771ft radio transmitter instead.

    Credit goes to Suboffender and Leaf for their help. Top night.

    History

    The plant was one of several post-war projects that were somewhat delayed by the economic circumstances of the late 1940s: it was originally scheduled for start up in 1947. It was the last green-field plant location to be remote from both raw materials and its position seems to have been predicated by the rules of the then-existing pricing cartel. Even water was not available on site: it was pumped from an artesian well 8 km away. Both raw materials are brought by rather arduous trips on minor roads through a semi-urban area. The use of colliery waste, with a potential fuel saving, was not new: it had been employed at Cousland much earlier. Despite the obvious suitability of dry process, FLS were uninterested in this, and the plant used standard wet process as previously installed by them at many other hard-rock sites such as Hope, Ketton, Drogheda, Limerick and Ribblesdale. By the 1960s, however, they had started to develop “long dry” kilns, and A3 became a successful first venture in Britain. The carbonaceous rawmix made it peculiarly appropriate in this instance. It had a long service life. Kiln 4 commenced operation in 2005 after heavy local protest, and makes around 2700 tonnes of cement clinker per day. Kilns 1-3 were decommissioned when kiln 4 started up.

    The need to maintain capacity while getting rid of the wet kilns necessitated its replacement with the highly-efficient A4, which for the first time allowed full utilization of the potential heat content of the raw material.

    The plant is on the Wrexham to Connah’s Quay branch railway and could use this initially for shale movement (from Llay Main’s siding when it still operated) as well as coal and despatch. Now only coal arrives by rail, and the plant transport is nearly all by road.

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    Thanks,
    tweek

    :Not Worthy


     

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  2. Millhouse

    Millhouse 28DL Regular User
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    This was a cracker, cheers to Suboffender and Leaf for bringing this to light.

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  3. Suboffender

    Suboffender 28DL Full Member
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    This one had been on the cards for a long time. It was first done by Leaf1471 a couple of years back, and i had spent the previous year spending time with him exploring various sides of the site, which were new to the both of us. The day came when we were due to explore the kiln, and unfortunately i couldn't make the trip, so it went ahead without me.

    Fast forward two weeks later, and i had put together a group of willing explorers to explore the site. There wasn't much of a plan, other than "run like hell". If I'm honest, i did expect it to be harder than it was to get on site, but there you go. Creeping around the site, in the full moonlight, i was struck by the sheer size of the kiln and noted the orange glow from the staircase, and hoped we would be able to make it up the structure quickly and without incident. Once on site, It was a mad dash to the bottom of the staircase where we crouched and listened for a minute, praying that the dome camera had not noticed us on the way in. We started to run up the stairs.. Now, it was when i was about a third of the way up, when i started to regret wearing so many layers. Turns out, the kiln, as the name would suggest, is very hot, and i was drenched with sweat. A quick look around told me that the others were struggling too, so we got off on a floor where the hissing and pops of relief valves were putting us all on edge. From this floor, we has a vantage point over the site and noted various vehicles traveling around the site and hoped that we had not been spotted. We made a final dash to the top and the surge of cold air could not have been more welcoming. After a dome camera on the roof was noted, it was down to what we were here for... The pictures.

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  4. Gone

    Gone
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    just devved.
     
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