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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Hanson investment boosts supply at Padeswood

Murat Burakcin

North Wales cement plant upgrade enhances production capacity and efficiency and reduces energy consumption

THE first phase of a £24 million investment programme has been completed on schedule at Hanson’s Padeswood cement works, near Mold, Flintshire.

The upgrade enhances production capacity and efficiency as well as cutting energy use. It marks the 70th anniversary of cement production at the North Wales plant and includes the installation of a cement grinding mill capable of producing up to 650,000 tonnes of cement a year. This, combined with one of its existing ball mills, helps to match the plant's grinding capacity with its kiln capacity.

Removing the discrepancy between grinding and kiln capacity at the plant means that thousands of tonnes of raw material will no longer need to be transported to other sites for grinding into cement. Moreover, the cutting-edge facility, shipped to the UK from Spain, reduces energy consumption for this part of the production process by around 30% due to the efficiency of its electric motors.

Jim Claydon, Hanson UK cement managing director, said: ‘The investment is one of the biggest in our UK business, securing the long-term future of Padeswood and the consistent supply of cement to the plant’s customers.

‘The nearly new Loesche vertical roller mill, housed in a 34-metre-high building, started its life at a grinding plant in Bilbao. It had only 7,000 operational hours on the clock and was in excellent condition. After dismantling it piece by piece, specialist contractors moved it to the UK where it was reassembled on site at Padeswood.’

As part of the site improvements, three new rail cement silos have been installed alongside the existing railhead. This will allow up to three trains a week to be loaded for deliveries to Hanson depots in London, Bristol or Glasgow. The new silos will significantly reduce the transportation of cement produced at Padeswood to customers by road.

Padeswood was opened in 1949 by the Tunnel Portland Cement Company, producing 190,000 tonnes of cement from two wet kilns. A further dry kiln was added in the 1960s and, in 2006, a state-of-the-art kiln specifically designed to burn alternative fuels was commissioned.

In addition to the increase in milling capacity, other recent capital investment at Padeswood includes the installation of a plastic packing machine and the re-commissioning of an existing paper packaging machine, and an upgrade in the capability to use recycled paper and plastics as fuel.

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