Sri Lanka Haycarb calls for coconut plantations strategy

June 10, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Haycarb has called for a long-term strategy to expand coconut plantations to ensure raw material availability to make activated carbon and said it is diversifying into wood- and coal-based carbons. Shortages of coconut shell charcoal, which account for almost 65 percent of the firm’s cost of production, and high prices have squeezed profit margins in recent years.

“We need to devise a long-term strategic framework for the protection and growth of coconut plantations and ensure the survival and growth of value adding industries such as ours in Sri Lanka,” chairman Mohan Pandithage said.

“As the pioneer in setting up activated carbon manufacturing in Sri Lanka and Asia and as the largest coconut shell-based activated carbon manufacturer in the world, your company has an overwhelming interest in protecting this valuable national asset.”

Haycarb will partner with stakeholders in endeavours that will ensure the sustainability of coconut plantations in the country, Pandithage told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.

Managing director Rajitha Kariyawasan said that during the financial year ending March 2011 the company faced “very challenging cost pressures, particularly coming f