Abandoned Cement Works -
A major player Cement Australia, with a long history with the site was the small town of Kandos which was in support of the construction of the site in 1914.
With the construction of this Cement Works, Australia Government decided that it needed its own Cement Plant which was then to end its reliance on European concrete and created a capacity for local cement production by using nearby coal and limestone reserves.
The plant supplied cement for some of Sydney’s major building projects including the Sydney Opera House , the pylons of Sydney Harbour Bridge , Sydney city’s railway system, as well as homes and commercial buildings
The cement works was the main non agricultural industry in Kandos for 97 years until it came to a head in 2011 and was forced to close there plant due to various issues.
The distance of the plant to the Sydney market and attracting a skilled workforce was also a major factor in its demise. Also the technology from which it was originally constructed became outdated and even with the refurbished / upgrade or $10 Million and the high Aussie Dollar at the time also impacted in the close of the plant in 2011 and almost taking 100 jobs with it.
The establishment of the town of Kandos began in May 1913 just before the outbreak of the First World War, when the NSW Cement Lime and Coal Company was registered and purchased the land for both the plant and the town. The town Kandos being purposely built to support the creation of the Kandos Cement Plant. The contract to supply the machinery for the plant went to Freid Krupp Limited of Bremen, Germany. It appeared that the beginning of hostilities was going to stop any further advancement of the project as the declaration of war saw the first kiln held up in South Africa on the way out to Australia from Germany.
Kandos was chosen to be home to the cement works because of the nearby limestone quarry, plenty of water and availability of coal, although, there were also plans to build a copper smelter on the site at around the same time to smelt copper mined at Cobar, because of the abundance of coal.
At the time the Kandos Cement Plant was being planned, Europe was one of the worlds largest cement producers with most of the equipment used in cement plants being manufactured in Germany. The making of cement is also a chemical process that requires a lot of expertise and most of that expertise also came from Germany.
Kiln number two had already been delivered to the Kandos Cement Project and this kiln had to come on line before kiln number one that was held up in South Africa on the way out because of the outbreak of war.
Despite the setbacks the Kandos Cement Plant finally got underway as it was self sufficient as far as raw materials were concerned. It had its own coal for heat production, its own limestone quarry and Dunns swamp was dammed to provide the water. This meant Australia's need to import German cement had been stopped and building construction in Sydney could continue.