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Sunday, 4 March 2012

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New plant soon to produce Titanium Dioxide

LAUGFS Holdings Limited and the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) signed a landmark agreement to set up the country's first-ever plant to produce Titanium Dioxide from mineral sand, thereby adding value to mineral sands.

SLINTEC will produce TiO2 and Nano TiO2 starting with Ilmenite obtained from Pulmudai for the project. This agreement will initiate the commissioning of a pilot plant and a large scale commercial plant at a later stage.

LAUGFS and SLINTEC will initiate the project in three phases. LAUGFS and SLINTEC will enter into commercial production of Titanium Dioxide which is about 15 times value addition to Ilmenite. The two entities would set up a state-of-the-art processing plant which would produce Nano Titanium better known as Nano TiO2.

LAUGFS Holdings Chairman, WKH Wegapitiya said, “Venturing into an agreement of this nature with a semi-government owned institution to set up a processing plant to add value to a product would bring many opportunities not only to us, but also Sri Lanka. At present mineral sands are exported as a bulk commodity whereas these sand will be processed and re-imported back to Sri Lanka as a different product which is higher in Value. We hope that we could add value to local mineral sands”.

Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs Prof. Tissa Vitharana said “Today LAUGFS Holdings Limited and SLINTEC and Sri Lanka earned eight million US dollars by exporting Ilmenite as a raw material every year, but Sri Lanka spent $ 12 m to import Titanium Dioxide for the paint industry.

After this project is launched. We can save money and export Titanium Dioxide at the best price and develop the industrial sector”.

Chairman Wegapitiya and MD, UK Thilak de Silva signed the agreement while SLINTEC Chief Executive Officer, Asela Gunawardena and SLINTEC Director and National Science Foundation Chairman, Prof. Sirimali Fernando signed the agreement on behalf of the company.

 

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