LAUGFS to invest Euro 30 m to set up saline plant

Tuesday, 8 March 2016 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Awaits Cabinet approval to sign an exclusive buy-back agreement with Government
  • Mulls cardiology hospital in Colombo

By Charumini de Silva

LAUGFS Holdings is going ahead with a Euro 30 million (around Rs. 5 billion) investment to set up a state-of-the-art saline plant, with plans to sign an exclusive buy-back agreement.

This investment is in addition to LAUGFS Pharmaceutical Ltd. breaking ground recently to construct Sri Lanka’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at the Koggala Export Processing Zone with an investment of over $ 30 million.

“We have applied under LAUGFS Holdings, but we will be incorporating a special purpose vehicle for this project,” LAUGFS Group Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya told the Daily FT.  

He said the firm was planning to sign an exclusive buy-back agreement where 50% of its total capacity would be bought by the Government, while the remainder would be for the private sector as well as export markets.

“Currentlywe are awaiting Cabinet approval and hope that we will be able to obtain approval within this month,” he noted.

With the implementation of this proposed saline plant, the Government will save up to Rs.420million foreign exchange outflow per annum.

Annually, Sri Lanka requires 7.5 million units of saline and of that six million is required by Government hospitals. At present Sri Lankaimports saline from India, Malaysia, Bangladesh and China.

In terms of the export market, LAUGFS is initially looking at Africa and Asia owing to the huge demand in these regions.

Hinting that creating a new brand name under hospitals and healthcare was on the cards, Wegapitiya said he was keen on setting up a specialised cardiology hospital in the near future.

“We are not going to acquire, but we are going to build one of the world’s best cardiology hospitals here in Sri Lanka,” he confirmed.

He revealed that they had met with the Minister in charge of Megapolis and requested a suitable six-acre land within Colombo for the project.