Four companies will begin building factories in the Hambantota economic zone this month, a top official said on Thursday.
An Indian sugar company, a Singaporean petrochemical plant, a Pakistani cement grinding factory and a local fertiliser bagging plant are the projects. They are expected to begin building the factories this month, according to Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama.
In its latest investment the Thatta Cement Company of Pakistan has been given Cabinet approval to set up a cement grinding and bagging plant in Hambantota.
“The Cabinet granted approval to proposals from Shree Renuka Sugar from India, Peak Energy from Singapore to operate a petrochemical plant and Hayleys Advantis for a fertiliser storage, processing and bagging plant,” the Cabinet paper said.
The entry of Singapore, India and Pakistan is expected to boost Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka bringing it closer to the all-time high target of US$ 1 billion earmarked by the Government for 2011.
Thatta Cement along with the other companies will be given a 25-year-long lease on land.
Earlier Cabinet approved the sugar refinery plant by Shree Renuka Sugar Ltd. of India for a period of 25 years subject to payment of the royalty figure offered by the bidder. Twenty hectares of land will be allocated to this company on a 25-year lease to operate its sugar refinery plant in Hambantota Port. There will be no royalty fee during the construction period of 24 months from the date of singing of the contract.
The petrochemical plant was awarded to Peak Energy Ltd. This is a Singaporean company and it will be allocated 15 hectares of land in the economic zone. The lease will be for 25 years. An additional five hectares of land is to be reserved adjoining the above land for future expansions. There will be no royalty fee during the construction period of 20 months from the date of signing the contract.
Hayleys Advantis is the only local company to be given the contract for operation of a fertiliser storage, processing and bagging plant. The venture will be allocated 2.5 hectares of land and given a royalty fee holiday of 10 months from the date of signing the contract.
However, none of the financial details of these ventures were released to the media at the Cabinet press briefing on Thursday morning. (UJ)