Clinker manufacture operational: 7/6/1965 to 9/8/2002
Approximate total clinker production: 22.2 million tonnes (18th)
Raw materials: quarry at 394400,536900 in the Carboniferous Limestone Stainmore Formation yielding (top to bottom)
Sometimes called Eastgate Works. It had the first of the new generation of larger Lepol kilns to be installed in Britain and Ireland, with similar kilns subsequently installed at Dunbar, South Ferriby and Cookstown. A1 was briefly the largest kiln, until overtaken later in 1965 by Westbury A2. Although a suspension preheater system was suitable for the raw materials, it would appear that a Lepol system was adopted because quality problems then being encountered at Plymstock were mistakenly attributed to that plant’s kiln system.
In contrast to other plants, the raw materials were ground at the quarry. This meant that there was no scope for use of kiln waste heat for raw material drying. The rawmill heat consumption was typically 0.40 MJ/kg. The standard combination of oil-heated Aerofall mill and “double rotator” regrind mill produced rawmix which was transferred from the hill-top quarry to the plant on a sloping belt conveyor. Blending then took place at the plant.
On the closure of Humber, Weardale took over the production of sulfate resisting clinker alongside ordinary clinker (1980-2002), resulting in a slight reduction in efficiency. It was the first dry process plant to attempt this. Tyres were used as a fuel supplement from 1985 onward.
Although remote, the densely populated areas of the Durham coalfield were within 25 km to the east. The plant had a rail link running only eastwards. The up-rating of Dunbar and Hope, the general market reduction by the end of the 20th century, and a comparatively small reserve of good raw material brought about the plant’s closure. The site has now been cleared.
Please contact me with any relevant information or corrections. I am particularly interested in firmer dates and statistics.
One 1350 kW Aerofall mill for coarse grinding and two Polysius 900 kW double-rotator mills for separator rejects regrind.
Two rotary kilns were installed:
Operated: 14/10/1965 – 09/08/2002
Sources: Jackson, pp 264, 301: Pugh, pp 147, 184: “The New Weardale Cement Works”, Cement and Lime Manufacture, 39, July and September 1964, pp 59-73, 77-88: Weardale Works, Blue Circle Publicity Department, 1967.
© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 31/12/2016.