Hydraulic Lias Lime (Hl2) have continued their 60% year on year growth rate. It\'s been a hugely successful year, says Mike Farey, the managing director of the British company successfully competing against the French for sales of hydraulic lime mortars.
Hl2, based in Somerton, Somerset, have already replaced their first kiln and are now planning another upgrade with a state of the art Italian kiln that should increase their capacity to produce their blue lias lime mortars at least tenfold to 10,000 tonnes a year.
Farey says the company\'s success has come about through a growth in the market for lime mortars as their advantages become more widely appreciated and because people are switching from imports.
He says that not only will production and marketing be increased at his company, but the emphasis placed on research will double in order to maintain a technological lead.
There is, he says, still a lot of misunderstanding about lime mortars in the construction industry in general and some disinformation spread by those with vested interests in minimising sales of lime mortars.
While sales of hydraulic lime to the conservation and repair markets, lime\'s traditional customer base, have increased, by far the biggest part of Hl2\'s growth has come about as the result of an increased interest among the new build sector, which is buying 50% of Hl2\'s production.
Two of the company\'s biggest current contracts are at Bury St Edmund Cathedral, where a tower is being built as part of the conversion of the church into a cathedral, and for a new Palladian style mansion being built at Ferne Park, Dorset.
Hl2 have even enjoyed some export successes, selling 5% of their output within the EU (notably Ireland) and 5% further afield (especially Israel).