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Korean firm wants to revive KKS cement with USD450mn investment

June 03, 2016 (LBO) - Korea's AFKO group is interested in reviving the Kankesanthurai cement plant with a 450 million dollar investment, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement. AFKO Group, which merged with Korea’s multinational chaebol Hyundai Group in 2008, has its own construction and cement projects in several countries. The company can bring in necessary machinery and start from scratch, Chairman of AFKO Group GMEX, Keun Young Lee, informed Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. “We are keen to partner in the Kankesanthurai Cement Project and are ready to enter with $450 Mn as a start. We shall also bring in all the necessary machineries and technology and can start from scratch-we only need Sri Lanka’s land and labour," he informed the minister. The company wants cement production industries elsewhere in Sri Lanka, including Mannar, and may enlist Korean conglomerate Ssangyong C&T as the main engineering Company. Responding to Lee, Minister Bathiudeen said the project was important for the North as well as the rest of the country, and the government was "looking for suitable global partners to revive the historic KKS Cement." The KKS Factory commenced in 1950 under the Department of Industries and was converted to a Public Corporation in 1956, being named as Kankesan Cement Works. Existence of limestone deposits in Kankseanthurai for cement production was an incentive in establishing the factory in KKS. According to reports, the area may have limestone deposits exceeding 80 Million MT sufficient for manufacturing of cement for another 100 years. The KKS factory closed its production in 1991 due to the separatist war. At the time of its closure its production capacity was 115000 MT, and employed 400. UAE-based Ras Al Khaimah Cement (RAKC) has also expressed interest in reviving the Kankesanthurai Cement Factory.
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