Govt. seeking investor for KKS

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Getting enthusiastic on Public-Private Partnerships, the Sri Lankan Government is planning to resume operations at the Kankesanthurai (KKS) cement factory with private sector investments by next year after the current renovation work is completed.

The State Resources and Investment Promotions Ministry is seeking a private sector investor for the venture and is hopeful that the matter can be settled before the end of the year.

The Paranthan chemical factory is also expected to restart operations with private investment next year. These will be the first two large scale factories beginning operations in the north if plans work out as expected.

The Sri Lanka Cement Corporation has already commenced restoring the KKS cement factory while taking action to assess the quality of the stock of clinker available within the premises.

Sri Lanka Cement Corporation Chairman Sisira Paranagama noted that the corporation was currently looking at several options to resume cement production.

The factory ceased operations in 1990 when the war between the security forces and the LTTE intensified. Despite hostilities ending two years ago, the factory has remained without private investment.   

The corporation had imported 36,260 metric tonnes of ordinary Portland cement in 2010 under the ‘Kankesan’ brand and sold it at prices below market prices in order to supply quality cement at affordable prices, Paranagama said.

Construction industry experts have called on the factory to be restored to full capacity to reduce dependence on imports and provide cement at reasonable prices. They insist that the venture would provide encouragement to Sri Lanka’s Rs. 250 million building industry.

The State Resources and Investment Promotions Ministry is also planning a string of other PPPS including an Rs. 600 million Australian investor for the Embilipitiya paper factory.

A total of Rs. 1.2 billion has been offered for four loss-making State-owned enterprises that the Government is hoping to restructure with the help of private investors. The Government is in the process of restructuring 23 State enterprises and the first phase included four enterprises.

The Embilipitiya Paper Corporation, Kantale Sugar Company, Sri Lanka Rubber Products and Exports Company and the Ceylon Ceramics Corporation are the four institutions to be restructured.

The Ministry is currently in the process of studying the Expressions of Interest (EoIs) sent by private investors for the Kantale Sugar Company, Sri Lanka Rubber Products and Exports Company and the Ceylon Ceramics Corporation.