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By Sanath Nanayakkare

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the state-of-the-art cement manufacturing plant of Lanwa Sanstha Cement Corporation (Pvt) Ltd., in Mirijjawila, Hambantota.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Irrigation and Minister of State for Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Commerce Bandula Gunawardena , Minister of Power and Power Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Minister of State for Investment Promotion DV Chanaka.

A BOI venture, the Lanwa Sanstha facility spans 63 acres in the Mirijjawila export processing area in Hambantota.

Lanwa Sanstha cement plant manager Prasad de Silva told The Island that the facility includes a fully automated stacker salvage yard and 2 bridge-type ship unloaders for efficient, waste-free handling. and durable goods.

“From the loading of raw materials at the Port of Hambantota to their unloading at the factory, through grinding and mixing, the shipment of the final product to the market is fully automated. We will produce the full range of cement products including Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Composite Cement (PPC) and Blended Hydraulic Cement (BHC) to meet the growing local demand from home builders, projects such than the port city and even highways. We hope that this initiative will bring a solution to the construction sector which is currently suffering from shortages of raw materials. »

“The factory will have two production lines, and we launched the first production line today, which represents an investment of more than one million dollars. Phase 1 has the capacity to produce 8,000 metric tons of cement per day. Once the two lines are operational, we can produce a minimum of 160,000 50 kg bags per day. The second production line will be operational in a few months,” he said.

“At the moment, our local content and our added value are around 12% and this would increase to 30-40% once we can use the by-products of our steel mill as part of the raw materials.”

According to company sources, with the entry of Lanwa Sanstha cement in the market, the price of a 50 kg bag of cement is expected to stabilize at Rs. 1,500.

Lanwa Sanstha Cement Corporation (Pvt) Limited is a sister company of Sri Lanka’s leading steel manufacturer, Ceylon Steel Corporation Limited.

According to the plant manager, the plant currently needs 20 MW of electricity per day for its operation and once the two production lines are in operation, the power requirements will increase to 35 MW.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said the project will provide about 180 job opportunities as it is fully automated.

However, according to factory sources, the factory would create a few hundred indirect jobs.