Embilipitiya Paper Mill has resumed operations under the National Industrial Re-awakening Programme of the Government.
According to the State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry, Perth Engineering and Maintenance (WA) (Pvt) Ltd. of Australia was granted the management contract of the mill.
Around 250 metric tonnes of paper will be produced daily and 350 direct employment opportunities will be created under the new management, said Secretary of State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry Dr. W.W. Gamage.
The Embilipitiya Paper Mill was first set up in 1978. The mill was closed in 2003 and factory assets worth millions of rupees were sold to settle the workers’ dues.
The mill resumed operations in 2008 with a capital investment of Rs. 35 million as envisioned in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ to make State resources productive.
However, due to the poor quality of the machinery and the high cost of re-investing in machinery the plant was compelled to close again in 2010. Despite its closure, the Government continued to pay staff salaries amounting to Rs. 4.3 million monthly until last November.
Over Rs. 350 million was paid as compensation to 171 former employees at a ceremony at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, last week.