Cimentos de Mocambique, has tried to blame the electricity company, EDM, for the clouds of cement dust that frequently exit its factory in the southern city of Matola.
Protests against the pollution from the factory caused by the dust have been made by Matola residents and other nearby factories, including the country’s largest food processor, the Companhia Industrial de Matola (CIM), for years.
Finally, on Saturday, at a seminar organised by the environmental NGO Livaningo, the cement company produced an explanation. Jose Machado, representing the company, claimed that the electro-filters that should prevent the dust from entering the atmosphere have been damaged by oscillations in the electrical current.
"We want to hold back all that dust", he said, "but due to the constant oscillations in current, the electro-filters don’t last very long. This obliges the company to import spare parts and this has not been a very easy exercise".
Machado said he believed that EDM is working to solve the problem, by erecting new sub-stations which should improve the quality of the electricity used by the factory.
"We are investing in modern technologies, and with good quality electricity we will be able to do much more and better", Machado said.
He announced that Cimentos de Mocambique intends to invest over EUR8m over the next two years in environment-friendly technology.