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Report - Padeswood Cement Kiln, Mold - September 2012

tweek

Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
Regular User
#1
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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