In August 1928 Ketton Portland Cement Company was incorporated and construction of a cement works began. It was producing cement within a year and, by the end of 1929, the 140 men and two women on the permanent payroll had produced and despatched 8,500 tonnes of cement.
Today the cement works is one of the most efficient in Europe and is nationally important, with 60 per cent of production being sent by rail into London and the south east.
The limestone and clay needed for cement production is supplied by Grange Top quarry adjacent to the works, which is also home to a 13-megawatt solar installation. The 58,000 panels, located on worked-out areas of the quarry, provide 13 per cent of the electricity used by the Ketton plant, helping deliver substantial CO2 savings.
The site is hoping to reduce its CO2 emissions further still through its involvement in a BEIS-funded carbon capture project, which aims to provide a low-cost solution to decarbonisation. In spring 2022, we began a trial using C-Capture’s carbon capture technology which uses a solvent to selectively capture the CO2 produced at the plant.
Grange Top quarry has been active for almost 100 years and has areas at various stages of working and restoration. The unworked land is mainly in agricultural use, with extensive areas of woodland and scrub.
The quarry is home to 26 different species of butterfly and a large number of birds, including nightingales and sand martins. Over 13,000 trees and shrubs have been planted and bats are thriving in a purpose-built 63-metre long cave.
In late 2022/early 2023 we will be seeking planning permission to extend the life of Grange Top quarry for a further 25 years, to secure the long-term future of Ketton cement works.