£14m will cement the future of plant

Members of the Hope Works project team discuss the new kiln shell section before it is lifted into place
Members of the Hope Works project team discuss the new kiln shell section before it is lifted into place
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The UK’s largest cement plant - in Hope near Sheffield - is to undergo a £14m upgrade after a second boom year of production.

Hope Construction Materials has committed to projects that aim to make the plant greener and more efficient, to secure its future.

The works produces almost 1.5m tonnes of cement a year and employs 200.

Operations manager Ed Cavanagh said: “We are very excited to be involved in the largest investment programme on site for many years.

“Such a highly technical series of projects is complex and requires much planning and expertise – always with due regard for safety and with respect to our neighbours around the site.”

The biggest visible difference will be the installation of a second chimney to allow maintenance of the existing landmark chimney for several months.

The firm is also spending several million pounds on a system to increase the amount of sustainable fuel the energy-intensive operation uses, and it is replacing a large section of one of the kilns - a 200ft long, 15ft diameter rotating steel cylinder at the heart of the cement-making process.

Mr Cavangh added: “ The delivery and installation of this section of kiln and the tyre needed to help it rotate have involved months of project planning, complex transport logistics and the use of oversize cranes.

“The installation of the new kiln shell section is a spectacular piece of engineering involving several teams and very careful planning.

“We are delighted with the way that this individual project has evolved and look forward to seeing the others progress to schedule.

“Once this programme is complete, we will have an upgraded production plant, ready for the challenges of an increasingly busy time for building in the UK.”

The works has operated for more than 85 years and has been operated by Hope Construction Materials since January 2013.

Andrew Bingham, MP for the High Peak said: “I’m delighted to hear of the investment. The company is one of the biggest employers in the High Peak.”