Twiga Cement operations suspended
The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) yesterday suspended indefinitely Tanzania Portland Cement Company’s (TPCC) operations, ordering it to pay a Sh50-million penalty for polluting environment.
This follows residents’ complaints about the plant releasing soot through its chimneys, causing serious health problems to families residing around it.
Twiga Cement will cease its operation for undisclosed period until the polluting environmental issues at the plant are fixed and fine paid.
NEMC Senior Legal Environment Heche Suguta said TPCC had grossly violated the Environmental Management Act of 2004 and that the penalty should be settled within seven days. Failure to do so could see other punitive measures instituted.
“This is a clear lesson to cement companies and other companies operating in the country that do not take environmental issues into account,” he said.
TPCC MD and area manager East Africa, Alfonso Rodriguez, said the emissions came from the old plant which was in operation following filter faults at the new plant.
“We are working to fix the filters, but it may take a month for the new filters to arrive in the country,” he said.
TPCC, in which Heidelberg Cement holds a majority stake, is the leading cement producer in Tanzania controlling 40% of the market.
The cement plant at the Wazo Hill produces more than 2 million tpa for domestic and foreign markets.