The now installed bag filter technology, an investment of US$3.2 million to make the installation on the factory's old line to bring the stack emissions in line with global standards, is a follow up to the Company's earlier investment in 2010 on a Gas Conditioning Tower (GCT), to eliminate stack emissions on its old production line after the electrostatic precipitator that was installed, was not as effective in management of the emissions due to frequent power cuts.
Hima Cement Plant operates two lines, RK2 and the new line 3 which was commissioned in 2010. The new line was opened to increase cement production capacity from 300,000t/yr to 850,000t/yr. Line 3 had an in-built bag filter technology to ensure that emissions are to the bare minimum and in line with Global Standards.
The Company took the important step and in consultation with National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), resolved to take the next step forward and invest in converting the existing Electrostatic Precipitator to the new bag Filter technology in RK2.
"Hima Cement invested significant resources to conduct environmental impact assessments so as to ensure that the Plant operations met all the required environmental standards for its manufacturing processes and operations. This significant investment of US $ 3.2 million into converting the Electrostatic Precipitator with the more efficient bag filter technology, apart from the benefit of improved efficiencies, also goes a long way in compliance to Global environmental standards." says Peter Robson, Hima Cement's Plant Manager.
Furthermore Robson confirmed that Health, Safety and Environment are the company's highest priority. He reiterated the company's steadfast commitment to environmental conservation and that Hima would continue to endeavor to advance its Corporate Social Responsibility agenda while upholding compliance to local and international standards.
"In the spirit of continuous improvement, we will continue to commit ourselves, and as part of the Lafarge Group's Sustainability Ambitions 2020; to have responsible and environmentally-friendly operations as we ensure the health and safety of our employees and the communities around here. We are fully committed to building a sustainable business that is environmentally friendly and are ready to work alongside the communities, organizations and the government to achieve our purpose.''
Jackson Molo, the Project Manager said the new technology that has been installed is an industrial filtering system where they have used specially designed filter cloth bags with a capacity to hold high temperatures of up to 250 degrees centigrade.
"The dirty air comes in from the kiln and enters the air chamber where it is filtered and the dust is held by the filter cloth, reverse air purge systems then drops the dust back into the process while the clean air is released into the atmosphere," Molo says.
The plant's target of emissions with the new installation is expected to be well below Lafarge Industrial targets. "We will know for sure in July once we have tested," Molo says. "But at the Bamburi plant in Mombasa, we achieved 0.01mg/m3 emissions with the same technology last year."
Robson says that the Plant went on shut down on April 29 throughout May for the installation to be done. The Kiln was started back with the new technology on June 9. They are already three weeks in operation and everything is working great so far.