An agreement was signed between Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Lanwa Sanstha Cement Corporation Pvt. Ltd. to establish a conveyor belt and two ship unloaders within the port premises to handle and deliver raw materials required for their cement manufacturing plant at the Mirijjawila BOI zone.
The agreement was formalized by CEO of HIPG, Johnson Liu and Chairman of Lanwa Sanstha Cement Corporation Pvt. Ltd., Nandana Lokuwithana, in the presence of Minister for Ports and Shipping, Rohitha Abeygunawardena. Secretary to the Ministry, U. D. C. Jayalal, and Vice Chairman SLPA- Dr. Prashantha Jayamanne were also present at the signing ceremony held at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.
The new cement manufacturing plant which will have an initial capacity of 1 million MTs is due to commence production by January next year. The total capacity once the factory is complete will be 3 million MTs.
“Lanwa cement is an important industrial project for the Hambantota district and plays an important role in the economic development of Sri Lanka as well as the development of Hambantota Port. HIPG as a professional port operator, which Lanwa would be able to take advantage of, will provide excellent services for the project and I am sure we will have a win-win situation,” said Johnson Liu, CEO of HIPG.
“Partnering with HIPG for this project is beneficial to us as we will have steady in-bound logistics costs which will enable us to compete in the local cement market. The plant being located just next to the port is an added advantage and will go towards making the whole operation much more cost effective. Since the construction industry is a high contributor to the GDP growth of Sri Lanka, we believe the plant in Hambantota will be able to offer cost beneficial solutions. We plan to also invest in two ship unloaders to handle raw materials for the cement plant, to be transported via conveyor belt. While we hope to cater to the southern and eastern regions of the country, our fully automated manufacturing plant will also open up approximately 300 direct job opportunities for people in the locality,” says Nandana Lokuwithana, Group Chairman of Lanwa Sanstha Cement Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
The Hambantota International Port Group is in the process of fast-tracking the setting up of its industrial zone and developing partnerships with industries who wish to set up their facilities adjacent to the port. HIPG’s other plans include the setting up of a reliable supply chain, both upstream and downstream, which will put Sri Lanka on the map for investors from all over the world. The highway network is an added advantage which the port will leverage in their integrated strategy to connect industries from other parts of the country to use this gateway port.