On October 15, the 27th edition of Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition of technology for the wood and furniture industry, closed with great satisfaction after four busy days at the FieraMilano-Rho Exhibition center in Milan, Italy. Satisfaction was tangible from the very start, supported by the desire to restore personal meetings and handshakes, which ultimately translated into positive figures for the exhibition.
CORAL SpAwas one of the exhibitors at Xylexpo 2022 that was attended by more than 16 thousand unique visitors, a figure that reaches up to over 22 thousand visits at its peak.
Capital caught up with Angelo Dalessio, Representative for Middle East and Africa of CORALSpA, manufactures of sleeve dust collectors, industrial air filtration systems, industrial dust and fume extractors and centralized industrial extractors, for an inside look at their work in Africa. Excerpts;
Capital: Tell us about your company and what you do?
Angelo Dalessio: Coral antipollution system is a big Group with a primary focus on the environment and environmental protection. We achieve environmental protection through building systems that are able to extract and filter pollution that comes from the industry.
Since 1958, Coral Spa has been engaged in manufacturing dust collectors. For instance, the industrial extraction systems for dust and fumes made by Coral Spa offer guaranteed quality and efficiency. They are suitable for any type of activity and are able to satisfy any requirement.
We also manufacture industrial dust and fume extractors and portable dust collectors used in the industrial mechanical sector, wood industry, painting industry, and automobile sector.
Our stainless steel industrial dust and fume collectors have been designed for specific and complex applications in dusty air extraction and filtration systems.
All in all, these equipments go on to save the lives of many and despite this being a business we enjoy the benefits that it brings to protecting the health of the people such as those that work in hazardous environments.
Capital: Can you cite an example and explain how the filter works?
Angelo Dalessio: For example for woodworks, we have a woodworking machine which through the various steps of processing furniture creates wood dust and chips which are very fine and if inhaled are very bad to the health of the people around.
We extract such by installing a filter and fans directly to the machine. In the process, all this dust and chips which are coming down are collected leaving the air clean.
Capital: Which sectors do you focus on?
Angelo Dalessio: We have 27 sister companies. So we are covering all the pollution from A-Z. The wood takes up 30% of our production while 70% goes in the metal industry, chemicals, cement, welding, and foundries. Every industry where you have a process there is dust and you are polluting the environment. The industrial sector in the wood field is more interesting, because it is mainly a question of price and there is not so much sophisticated technology so to speak whereas in other industrial fields it is not so much of price but proper lasting solutions.
Capital: Can this dust be reused?
Angelo Dalessio: In some country like ours in Italy, these by products are very useful because we have really cold months. So these dusts could be used to make a pre-cut and this pre-cut could be sold and burnt to generate heat.
But in case of countries like Ethiopia, it seems to be a more difficult problem because you’re not suffering too much from the cold weather in certain areas. So mostly, the wood chips can be re-used and sold to the farmer.
Capital: Do you have any projects in Africa for example in Ethiopia?
Angelo Dalessio: We have lots of projects, for example in Ethiopia we have partners such as B&M furniture. They have a huge woodworking factory where they use the wood extraction system. Some of the projects have also been frozen or derailed because of the war. Nonetheless, we hope we will resume sooner rather than later. Likewise we have numerous upcoming projects in the pipeline but we have not been able to push through with the orders and the payments because all the LC is frozen for now in Ethiopia. Once the situations improve our projects will pick up.
Capital: Do you expect things to get better than it is now?
Angelo Dalessio: My customers tell me it’s improving. Sometimes it gets better sometimes it collapses again. So we will wait and see the interest of our Ethiopian customers. Of course for the case of Ethiopia, customers face problems in foreign currency and a bit of economic constraints resulting from the war.
Capital: In which African countries do you have projects?
Angelo Dalessio: We have projects in multiple countries in Africa including; Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Capital: Do you have any metal projects in African countries?
Angelo Dalessio: The biggest problem in Africa is that the governments are not still pushing too much against environmental pollution, rather it is all talk.
When you go to the field and you talk to the people and inquire further into the matter, you will find that some of the companies don’t have inspectors to this regard.
For example if I am a company doing work in Ethiopia where I have a lot of pollution and no one comes to inspect my factory to follow up on whether the conditions are bad for the health of the workers and people around and the environment, then the negligence in itself will lead to more pollution.
Nevertheless, the new generation is more interested in putting air pollution at bay and with access of lots of information in the internet this generation is anti air pollution. Big factory owners are cognizant of this and are thus making the necessary changes.
For us penetrating the sector has been a bit difficult but we are working on it.
In Italy, when opening up such factories everything is taken into account before licensing is given. Thus need for inspectors and repair is mandatory which makes it easy for us which may not be the case in Africa.
Capital: What have you done as a company in expanding the knowledge of pollution in Africa?
Angelo Dalessio: In the past, we had covered numerous grounds with regards to creating awareness on the matter. We achieved this by providing training and illustrating the dangers that come with not having a clean environment. We would often be called to give consultations and trainings at conferences. Nowadays, companies have well understood the problem. Sadly no one is coming with a clear concept to provide a long lasting solution.
There is always a notion of, if my company is running well, why should I inject more money? Of course this is not a forward looking type of assessment because what makes a factory great stems from several factors of which maintaining a pollutant free environment is integral.
Capital: Do you have something to add?
Angelo Dalessio: As a business, we are happy to not only make profits but also to protecting the environment from air pollution. Of course, as the saying goes, nothing changes, if nothing changes. As media, you should use your platform to advocate for cleaner work environments and be at the fore front of raising awareness on pollution. This in turn saves lives of thousands of workers who might be at risk due to hazardous and polluted work environments. The media also ought to push the government to put the environment on its priority agenda.