US$ 700 million zone for Sampur

Friday, 25 February 2011 02:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Cabinet approves unsolicited proposal from Mitchell Consortium of Australia and Asset Holdings; plans for joint venture with CEB to construct deep water jetty for power plant

The government is preparing to cash in on a US$ 700 million unsolicited proposal from the Mitchell Consortium of Australia along with Asset Holdings to establish a heavy industry zone in Sampur spanning 1200 acres.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday told the weekly Cabinet briefing that approval has been given to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitchell Consortium to do a feasibility study for setting up a Coke plant, iron ore palletising plant, Manufacturing plant and machinery, sugar refinery, blending of raw materials for trans-shipment and special research focused on Carbon and energy. These are however subject to the results of the feasibility study and availability of land.

The Cabinet paper submitted by the Finance and Planning Ministry detailed that the Mitchell Consortium, comprising the Mitchell Group of Australia engaged in coal extraction and processing activities, Salva Corporation (mining services), Asset Holdings Pvt. Ltd. of Sri Lanka and its Brazilian partners have submitted this unsolicited proposal for the design and construction of the industrial zone with necessary physical and social infrastructure covering 97 sq.kms within an area allocated for a special zone in Sampur within the Trincomalee District.

The companies have also agreed to take the responsibility of attracting new investors and developers to establish “complimentary and compatible” industries within the zone. “The investor will provide at their cost the necessary infrastructure.” The Cabinet paper also notes that phase one will be implemented on the land allocated to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for the coal power plant, but the Mitchell Consortium has offered a joint venture option to build the deep water jetty as a common facility, which the CEB has agreed to. Another 200-300 acre block will be separated after the feasibility study is completed.

The expression of interest by the Consortium has been sent to the Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee (SCARC) that has approved the proposal and recommended that the proposed joint venture between the CEB and Mitchell Consortium to build the deep water jetty and stock pile yard be accepted. (UJ)