Apr 25, 2016 (LBO) – A now defunct Lankan chemical pioneer is to be revived and construction work shall start before the end of this year to revive the historic manufacturing giant, a minister said.
“We have earmarked Rs 525 Mn to start work on the Paranthan Chemicals Factory in Kilinochchi, The construction work will begin before the end of this year,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
Minister made the announcement on 24 April while he was on a visit to a patch of 217 acre landmass in Kilinochchi where the former Paranthan Chemicals Factory was located before it was destroyed in 1985.
“With the recommencement of these factories we can produce our total Chlorine requirements domestically and save valuable foreign exchange of around $ 900000 per year that we spend to import Chlorine.”
Once recommenced, Paranthan factory can take its required salt from Elephant Pass saltern.
“We are also planning to upgrade Elephant Pass saltern so that we will become self-sufficient in domestic and industrial salt supplies.” said Minister Bathiudeen.
Former Paranthan Chemicals Factory that functioned under the state owned Paranthan Chemical Co, was established in 1954 as Government Chemicals Factory at Paranthan in Kilinochchi District.
It manufactured Caustic Soda using salt as the key raw material and was re-named as Paranthan Chemicals Corporation in 1957 by the State Industrial Corporation Act No 49 of 1957.
The factory was destroyed due to terrorism that began in 1983, and as a result, by 1985, Caustic Soda and Chlorine had to be imported for local soap, paper, textiles and manufacturing.
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At present, Paranthan Chemical Co imports liquid Chorine in 900 Kg cylinders and refill in to 68Kg cylinders at its refilling units in Horana and Kaluthara.
It can supply the entire chlorine required by the Water Supply and Drainage Board and private sector industries. Paranthan Chemical Co is a profit making state firm that reported more than Rs 150 Mn profits in 2015.