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POSTED AT 09:55 AM 22-01-2019

Chinese cement company to open plant in H’tota EPZ

Nalin Bandara

A Chinese cement manufacturer will set up a plant in the Hambantota Export Processing Zone, said Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara. This is the first time a Chinese Cement manufacturer is entering the Sri Lankan market.

In an interview with Daily News Business he said, land allocation for the project has been already done and environment assessments too have been completed. “The Chinese company will start production next May.”

The Deputy Minister said that the Chinese cement manufacturer will source 40% of raw material locally and the value addition would increase gradually. “Since most of the regional markets have large cement manufactures, this Chinese company would mainly concentrate on Sri Lankan markets.”

Bandara said that though Sri Lanka has many cement manufactures almost 55% are still been imported and there are lot of opportunities for the Chinese company to market cement locally. Cement imports surged 56% to 633,000 metric tonnes in May 2018 according to available data.

The Deputy Minister also disclosed that the Rigid Tire Corporation (Pvt) Ltd factory at the Board of Investments (BOI) Industrial Zone in Wagawatte, Horana have almost completed their first phase of development investing US$ 75 million. “They have now pledged a further US 50 million and this reinvestment will be made by the end of 2019.”

The project for which the ground breaking ceremony was under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in January 2018 is tipped to be the biggest fully integrated tyre manufacturing plant in the whole of South East Asia.

The factory’s total investment is expected to increase to as much as US$ 300 million in the next four years. Bandara said that with international investors (Italy) pledging more investment to the existing projects it will send a very powerful signal to other enterprises to follow suit by investing in Sri Lanka.

The Deputy Minister also said that in a bid to encourage more FDI to the country the government will also set up a new economic processing zone in Bingiriya in the Kurunegala district. This industrial zone to be built in Bingiriya would be developed as a public-private partnership (PPP).

Already 164 acres has been allocated to the new proposed zone and proposals are also underway to add 115 acres more.

Shirajiv Sirimane

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