Kasese Uganda July 15 2009: In a bid to contribute positively to sustainable development Hima Cement will in the next xx years substitute it heavy fuel oil usage with alternative fuel by up to 50 percent, effectively reducing carbon emissions by xxxx.
When receiving the State Minister for Industry and Technology, Hon Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, Hima plant manager Allen Matte said that the alternative fuel project which cost the company 1.2 Million Euros involved substituting fuel oil with coffee and rice husks which are supplied by farmers in and around Kasese. “The project begun in 2000 with a feasibility study and was commissioned in early 2001, immediately realizing a substitution rate of 10 percent” he said.
He added that apart from being environmentally friendly, the project had created a source of income to hundreds of farmers and their dependants and had converted coffee and rice husks into a valuable product that the community could rely on for their livelihood. “We intend to increase substitution by up to 50 percent and this means that more families will benefit from this project and likewise we shall have less emissions and hence a cleaner environment”.
The Minister who was on a tour of industries in the western region was also briefed about Hima Cement safety standards which are benchmarked on the Lafarge Group standards that are recognized globally. “Our priority at the plant is to ensure that safety procedures are strictly followed at all times and it is for this reason that Hima plant has one of the best safety records in the region” said Mate.
The Minister was also conducted through a tour of the ongoing new plant construction which is expected to increase Hima cement capacity to over 800,000 tons per annum. The new plant which is being built at a cost of USD108 million will produce 300,000 tons of additional clinker per annum and increase cement production by another 500,000 tons. The construction is being undertaken by CBMI Construction Company of China and is scheduled to be complete by mid 2010. After commissioning the plant will produce enough cement to supply the local and export market thus saving the country in excess of $1 billion in cement imports. Currently Uganda is a net importer of cement.
The Minister was also briefed on Hima Cement community interventions. The interventions centre around environmental conservation, education support which includes among other things provision of bursaries to needy school children in Kasese, improvement in community health and sanitation in Kasese and Kamwenge where the company has started extracting limestone. “We take environmental conservation very seriously and we have a robust programme of quarry rehabilitation and afforestration. We also have programmes on health and sanitation mainly focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, malarial control and basic hygiene training not only for our staff but the community as well”.
For clarifications: Please Contact John Chihi or Martha Chemutai on 0772 22 55 50