Modern facilities

Much of the cement production capacity in Ireland has been installed in the last 10 years making it one of the most modern cement industries in Europe. There has been considerable development in cement manufacturing technology over the past few decades. The early systems in Ireland were ‘wet-process’ kilns with the key feature being the extremely long kiln. It was essential to dry-out the raw materials before heating them to the required temperatures.

Dry process kilns replaced the wet kilns and the kiln length was reduced. Most of the kilns in Ireland incorporate a ‘pre-heating’ stage for the raw materials before they enter the kiln. This improves the efficiency of the process by utilizing excess heat from the kiln, reduces the residence time for the raw materials and hence the kiln can be shorter.

The most modern cement plant in Ireland, Irish Cement’s plant in Platin has an even shorter kiln thanks to the 95 metre high Pre-heater/Calciner tower. It is here through a 5-stage heat exchange system the raw materials are pre-heated and ‘calcined'. Limestone (Calcium Carbonate), the primary raw material is transformed by this process into Calcium Oxide.

Features of Ireland’s modern cement manufacturing technology are:
  • The capture and re-use of excess heat in the system
  • Drying and pre-heating of the incoming raw materials
  • Energy efficient roller mill for preparation of the raw materials and final cement production
  • Tertiary air ducts for the transfer of heat from the cooling clinker to the calciner or pre-calciner towers
  • High efficiency separators
  • Energy efficient conveyor systems for the transfer of bulk materials throughout the plant