Padeswood cement works has been operating since 1949 and supplies bulk and packed cement products to local and national customers. It was initially owned and operated by the Tunnel Portland Cement Company, which became Castle Cement in 1986, part of the HeidelbergCement Group. When HeidelbergCement acquired Hanson UK in May 2007, the company became Hanson Cement. Since then HeidelbergCement has become Heidelberg Materials and Hanson UK renamed Heidelberg Materials UK in 2023.
Initially there were two wet kilns at the site which were supplemented by a dry kiln in the mid-1960s. In 1998, Castle Cement announced that kiln 4 was to be built; a modern FLSmidth five-stage pre-calciner, with an in-line calciner and a downdraft calciner that was specifically designed to burn alternative fuels. The kiln was commissioned in 2005 and the three older kilns were decommissioned.
Recent capital investment in the plant has resulted in enhanced production capacity and electrical energy efficiency savings of around 30 per cent through the installation of a new cement grinding mill. Combined with one of the existing ball mills, this helped match grinding capacity with kiln capacity. Removing the discrepancy between grinding and kiln capacity at the plant meant that thousands of tonnes of raw material no longer need to be transported to other sites for grinding into cement. Other site improvements include three new rail cement silos which have been installed alongside the existing railhead. This allows up to three trains a week to be loaded for deliveries to our depots in London, Bristol or Glasgow, significantly reducing the transportation of cement produced at Padeswood to customers by road.
The Padeswood site is also home to an Eco Centre, which is run by pupils from specialist school Ysgol Maes Hyfryd in Flintshire. It includes a poly-tunnel and raised beds as well as an eco-classroom and wooded area with a fire pit.