Ceylon Steel Corp invests $ 18m on rolling mill
Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd (formally known as CHICO) will modernize
the plant operations investing $ 18 million with a state-of-the-art
rolling mill, the first of its kind in South Asia.
The plant will be operational by the third quarter of 2011 producing
high quality QTB rebar used in the construction industry.
Executive Director of Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd., Dammika
Lokuwithana said that they do not have any plans for exporting raw
materials as the cost is high but we want to give the highest quality
product to the domestic consumers.
When asked whether the Onyx Group has any plans to venture into other
areas of business he said not in the immediate future.
Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd., the largest producer of steel under
the brand name LANWA was acquired by UAE based Onyx Group during the
latter part of 2009 and since then it has been managed under the
chairmanship of Nandana Jayadewa Lokuwithana who is a Sri Lankan.
Business Development Manager Onyx Group Thomas Zachariah said that
Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd have joined hands with the world leader in
steel plant technology Danieli MORGARDSHAMMAR of Italy to instal the
state-of-the-art rolling mill.
This will help the company produce 250,000 tons of steel products per
annum and the enhanced capacity will cater to the increasing demand in
the infrastructure and housing construction sectors.
He said, that the machinery and technology used by CHICO was old.
Therefore, they were producing a limited number of products which were
of quality and complying to environmental standards.
‘The plan of our company is to upgrade the quality and quantity while
maintaining all environmental standards. Once the modern mill is
operational we will be able to save energy which will amount to about
10-15% of the power cost.
Once the new plant is operational we will be able to give the
consumer a large range of products at an economical price.
Zachariah said that they invested $ 38 million in the first phase
which included operational expenses as well. He said that the Ceylon
Steel Corporation Ltd is still running at a loss and it will take
another 2-3 years to turn it to a profitable venture.
He said that from last week the name Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd is
back as a Sri Lankan company managed by Sri Lankans for Sri Lankans.
He said that though Onyx Group was looking for an opportunity to
invest in Sri Lanka for the last four years it was made possible due to
Mahinda Chintana initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose vision
is to make Sri Lanka self sufficient. (SG)