Cement Kilns

Rochester

Location:

  • Grid reference: TQ70286512
  • x=570280
  • y=165120
  • 51°21'35"N; 0°26'45"E
  • Civil Parish: Halling, Kent

Clinker manufacture operational: 1913-2000

Approximate total clinker production: 21.7 million tonnes (20th)

Raw materials:

  • Middle Chalk (Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation: 92-94 Ma), Grey Chalk (Zig-zag Chalk Formation: 94-97 Ma) and Chalk Marl (West Melbury Marly Chalk Formation: 97-100 Ma) (extending into Gault Clay in places) from quarry at 569800,164700, the marl and clay being extracted from up to 40 m below water level.
  • From 1993, Upper Chalk (Lewes Nodular Chalk Formation: 88-90 Ma) and Middle Chalk (New Pit Chalk Formation: 90-92 Ma) from quarry at 569450,165650, delivered by conveyor through 500 m tunnel.
  • Intermittently from the 1960s, depending on the availability of marl, Gault Clay (Gault Formation: 100-112 Ma) was brought from Park Farm, Wrotham (562100,158100) by road (17 km).

Ownership:

The Formby Brothers extracted chalk from the area before establishing the Clinkham lime plant in the 1870s. This stood on the Medway waterfront supplying white and grey lime. The Middle Chalk quarry also supplied the Whitewall plant with raw material. It closed in 1909. Albert Batchelor acquired the site and built a plant on the lime plant site. 14 static kilns remained, but these were only used for lime, and only rotary kilns were used for cement production. Kiln A2 was used again intermittently 1952-1956 as top-up capacity, before being relocated to Trinidad in 1957. On acquisition by Rugby, new kilns were set up on the west side of the road, and the old plant to the east was used for despatch operations. The plant made sulfate resisting clinker alongside ordinary clinker from 1963 to 1979. Kilns A3 to A6 were the last to be installed in the Medway area. Kiln A6 was originally intended to be wet process, but was hurriedly re-designed for semi-wet operation following the 1970s energy crisis. With the closure of Holborough, it became the last kiln in the area, and the Medway area’s industry became extinct with its closure in 2000. The plant continued as a depot/grinding plant until 2009q3 when it was closed. The site is now in the process of redevelopment. The stack was demolished on 19/9/2010. The marl quarry forms a 30 Ha lake.

Please contact me with any relevant information or corrections. I am particularly interested in firmer dates and statistics.

Six rotary kilns were installed:

Kiln A1

Supplier: Fellner & Ziegler?
Operated: 1913-8/1938
Process: Wet
Location: hot end 570502,165043: cold end 570473,165033: entirely enclosed.
Dimensions: metric 30.00 × 2.000
Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2000: 30000×2000: tyres at 2400, 13500, 25500: turning gear at 13750
Cooler: Rotary: metric 10.00 × 1.000 under firing floor?
Cooler profile: 0×1000: 10000×1000: Tyres at 1845, 8425
Fuel: Coal
Coal Mill: indirect: ball mill
Typical Output: 53 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 8.9 MJ/kg


Kiln A2

Supplier: Krupp
Operated: 1914 - ?7/1938, 1952 - 1956
Process: Wet
Location: hot end 570518,165053: cold end 570472,165038: hot end enclosed.
Dimensions (from cooler ports): metric 48.00 × 2.450B / 2.000CD
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise.
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile (from cooler ports): -2000×2450: 16200×2450: 17800×2000: 48000×2000: tyres at 1500, 13000, 22700, 32000, 44000: turning gear at 24000.
Cooler: none – five “cooling tubes” were later added
Fuel: Coal
Coal Mill: ?
Typical Output: 107 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 9.6 MJ/kg


Kiln A3

Supplier: FLS
Operated: ?5/1938 - 6/4/1980
Process: Wet
Location: hot end 570177,165107: cold end 570198,165197: entirely enclosed.
Dimensions: metric 91.86 × 2.700 / 2.250 / 2.400
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise.
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2700: 33450×2700: 35400×2250: 65700×2250: 67350×2400: 91860×2400: tyres at 2640, 13380, 29790, 47010, 64080, 83580: turning gear at 49800.
Cooler: FLS bucket grate
Fuel: Coal
Coal Mill: semi-indirect: Tirax ball mill
Typical Output: 1938-1948 228 t/d: 1949-1955 251 t/d: 1956-1969 222 t/d: 1970-1980 209 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1938-1948 6.98 MJ/kg: 1949-1955 6.52 MJ/kg: 1956-1969 6.66 MJ/kg: 1970-1980 6.87 MJ/kg


Kiln A4

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 1/6/1950 - 6/4/1980
Process: Wet
Location: hot end 570168,165108: cold end 570194,165221: entirely enclosed.
Dimensions: metric 116.00 × 3.300 / 2.850 / 3.150
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise.
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×3300: 30000×3300: 32700×2850: 77300×2850: 80000×3150: 116000×3150: tyres at 4500, 28500, 55200, 81500, 105500: turning gear at 60800.
Cooler: Folax ?624 grate.
Fuel: Coal
Coal Mill: ?
Typical Output: 1950-1959 393 t/d: 1960-1980 414 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1950-1959 6.86 MJ/kg: 1960-1980 6.72 MJ/kg


Kiln A5

Operated: 1955 - 6/4/1980
Location: hot end 570158,165110: cold end 570184,165223: entirely enclosed.
Typical Output: 1950-1959 381 t/d: 1960-1980 419 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1955-1959 6.45 MJ/kg: 1960-1980 6.62 MJ/kg


Identical in all other respects to A4


Kiln A6

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 6/4/1980 - ?/2/2000
Process: Semi-wet: 12 × 10 m3 Johnson-Progress presses feeding a 44 × 5.6 m Lepol grate
Location: Hot end 570144,165144: Cold end 570162,165230: entirely enclosed.
Dimensions: (from cooler ports) metric 86.50 × 4.750BC / 5.530D
Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise.
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: dual motors: ?kW
Kiln profile (from cooler ports): -21300×4750: 57960×4750: 60960×5530: 85230×5530: 86010×4620: 86500×4620: tyres at -20520, 5550, 36000, 71160: turning gear at 65100.
Cooler: Planetary Unax 10 × 18.10 × 1.950
Fuel:Coal: 20% Petcoke was used in the 1990s
Coal Mill: direct?: Babcock & Wilcox ?8E ball-race mill
Typical Output: 1825 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 4.85 MJ/kg



Sources: Cook, pp 72, 97, 100, 104: Eve, p 26: Jackson, pp 255, 271, 295: Preston, pp 174, 202


© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 31/12/2016.

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Old Maps

Rochester Earlier

Rochester Later

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year

Rochester Capacity


 GeoScenicP207803_Crown_Copyright1938
Picture: Crown Copyright 1938: British Geological Survey Cat. No. P207803. This shows the plant viewed in 1938 from the southwest from what is now the marl quarry. The new kiln A3 had just started up, and its gleaming new buildings stand to the left, with the long low kiln house in front of the higher clinker and coal store. On the right is the old plant, with the old kiln stacks alongside new cement despatch structures. Various other features can be seen: the stack to the left is that of the long-closed Weekes plant; the stacks left-centre are Martin Earles, and the pall of dust on the centre horizon is that of Crown & Quarry around the bend of the river. At this date, none of these kilns - even the brand new one - had any dust control equipment.


 Rugby Archive: Rochester
Picture: ©Rugby Archive image RC/10/5/1/1. Official opening of Kiln A6 on 27/10/1979.