project in Trincomalee
Holcim (Lanka) Ltd, the top cement maker, is seeking government
approval for a project in Trincomalee - on the back of peace talks
- and has asked the government for land in the harbour.
have requested the Ports Authority to give us a land at the Trincomalee
harbour and the initial discussions with the Minister of Ports and
Telecommunications, Mangala Samaraweera have gone very well,”
Manilal Fernando, Chairman Holcim told The Sunday Times FT, on the
sidelines of the company's 2005 annual results presentation last
Director Peter Spirig, elaborating on the project, said the company
plans to have a ‘total operation’ in Trincomalee. “We
want to have packing, grinding, loading and unloading operation
and the peace initiative in the country has helped us to plan this
venture,” he said.
said the investment for the venture has not been finalised as yet,
but it will be ‘several million rupees’. “We have
not really had any access in the Northeast area in the country and
we feel that the time is right,” he added.
Holcim Lanka had a good 2005, marked by a top-line growth of another
30 percent to Rs.8.3 billion on account of a nine percent volume
the fact that the government imposed a price control on cement at
the end of August 2005 (and subsequently removed it again in January
2006), thus hampering the recovery of increasing cost, operating
profits more than doubled to Rs.1.28,” Spirig said. He said
that the net income however still remains below the full cost of
capital, which has given the company the impetus for further investments
in Sri Lanka.
company’s cement dispatches grew along with the market in
2005, sustaining its market share at 30 percent. Last year, the
construction sector grew by 6.2 percent and the cement market increased
by 9 percent year-on-year, returning to a growth rate last seen
said the impact of the 2004 tsunami will continue to influence the
cement consumption rate of the country in the next few years, but
the major drive is expected to come from healthy levels of general
demand fuelled by an average GDP growth of six percent.