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Raigam invests Rs 200 million on Hambantota saltern

The Raigam Southern Salt Company has invested Rs. 200 million to construct a saltern in Hambantota.

Construction work has already commenced and the new saltern will go into production by August this year. The new plant will be equipped with ‘Crab Swiss Solex’ technology which has a production capacity of five metric tons per hour.

Workers busy at a saltern

The plant would produce 15,000 metric tons of crystal salt per year and the project would provide 250 employment opportunities. Nearly 90 percent unskilled labour will be mobilized for the project, Chairman/CEO of Raigam Southern Salt Company (Pvt) Ltd, Ravi Liyanage said.

“This is our third salt refinery and we hope to construct the fourth saltern at Nilaweli with Government assistance,” he told Daily News Business.

“Identifying Puttalam as the strategic location, Raigam will commence work soon on the second salt refinery in Puttalam to be known as Puttalam Salt Ltd,” he said.

The machinery in this refinery has been imported and the assembling process is under way. The commercial operations of the refinery are envisaged to start within a few months.

He said that large extents of land that are suitable to develop salterns are idling in the North and East of Sri Lanka, especially in areas that have been previously identified as suitable lands such as Nilaweli and Kumburupidi in Eastern Sri Lanka.

The saltern with the largest capacity at Elephant Pass was badly damaged by terrorist activities. The lands in this area could be developed and renovated to set up more salterns.

The company hopes to manufacture other salt-based products such as caustic soda and soda ash through these salt refineries.

This will bring real benefits to the economy in terms of savings foreign exchange. He said that the company can produce salt products for export.

In 2007 Sri Lanka imported 10,000 metric tons of salt at a cost of US$1 million. In 2008 it increased to over 50,000 metric tons which made a significant impact to the balance of payment (BOP) deficit of Sri Lanka.



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