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A Possible New Industry: Cement Manufacturing |

A Possible New Industry: Cement Manufacturing

Acting on the suggestion of Mr E.J. Long, B.C., the Limerick Harbour Commissioners recently invited the Agricultural and Technical Instruction Department in Dublin to investigate the possibility of using the alluvial deposits of the Shannon in the Ferrybridge district for the manufacture of cement. The department readily complied and sent two experts to examine the area, including limestone quarries in Limerick and the surrounding region.

At the last meeting of the Harbour Board, with Mr E.J. Long, B.C., presiding, the matter was discussed. Mr Moroney, the Harbour Engineer, presented a report in which he stated that out of the ten limestone quarries examined and eleven samples tested, eight quarries yielded stone of suitable quality, while two were deemed unsuitable. The report also indicated that out of the six samples of mud or clay analyzed, three were suitable and three were unsuitable. The most suitable samples of clay were obtained from Corkanree, Ferry Bridge, and Ballinacurra Creek.

The report further suggested that if Corkanree clay were combined with Mungret limestone, which appeared to be the best limestone in the area, it would produce high-quality Portland cement. The chairman and members of the board expressed their satisfaction with the report, noting that the quality of the materials exceeded those found in Gillingham, near London, and that the quantity of raw material available was almost unlimited.

Discussions ensued regarding the question of fuel, which would be coke, and the potential location for the factory. It was suggested that Corkanree would be the best place for it. The chairman emphasized the significance of having an abundant supply of raw materials within the port boundary, capable of producing cement for Limerick, its surroundings, and other ports they traded with for an unlimited period.

Considerations were also given to the availability of coke from the Corporation Gasworks and the potential facilitation of the industry through the operation of Messrs Grainger’s steamers, which traded with Belfast, a major importer of cement. It was decided that the engineer would provide a further report on the cost of production, and the report would be printed and circulated.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 29 March 1904

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