Posted on: July 21, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

The cement factory in the southern Mozambican city of Matola on Friday inaugurated a bag filter that should greatly reduce the emission of pollutants that has long characterized this factory.

The factory is owned by Cimentos de Mocambique (Cements of Mozambique), in which the main shareholder is the Portuguese cement giant CIMPOR, and it has an extremely poor environmental record. Frequently a plume of what looks like white smoke could be seen rising from the factory – this was essentially cement dust, and often it carpeted the area near the factory, much to the annoyance of Matola residents and of other nearby, less polluting industries.

The company claims that the investment to clean up the cement factory’s emissions cost about five million US dollars, and is part of an environmental plan the company is implementing.

The bag filter will not only prevent dust from escaping in the atmosphere, but will allow the factory to recover and use it, thus reducing waste.

According to the President of the company’s Executive Commission, Steffen Kasa, the Mozambican government approved the environmental plan three years ago. “We are complying with the requirements to improve the situation regarding the emission of pollutants”, he said. “We are now half way through complying with the requirements. Our plan also involves installing further bag filters”.

Kasa said that other measures already taken to reduce emissions included replacing coal with natural gas in the rotating furnace to produce clinker, the introduction of a dust removal closed circuit, and the placing of a gas analyzer in the electro-filter chimney.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Antonio Fernando, congratulated the company on the measures it has taken to reduce emissions.

“Levels of pollution are falling, and we encourage the company to continue along this line”, he said. “What we want is that there should be no pollution, and a lot of production, while always protecting the environment. We want this example to be followed by other factories, since we know that if we do not take care of the environment, the water, the trees, and other natural resources will disappear, wrecking the future of generations yet to come”.